Currently viewing the tag: "opioid epidemic"

Frederick County has been awarded two grants, totaling almost $2 million, to help Frederick County combat the opioid epidemic.

A 2023 First Responders – Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (FR-CARA) Grant comes from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the amount of $1.8 million over the next four years.

The second grant awarded was from the Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE), worth $150,000 to be utilized over the next two years.

These grants will expand the Division of Fire and Rescue Service’s (DFRS) partnership with the Frederick County Health Department, as they continue to operate the Community Outreach And Support Team (COAST). “We are very proud of our partnership with DFRS that has created a program with effective interventions and positive outcomes,” said Andrea Walker, director, Behavioral Health Services Division and Local Behavioral Health Authority.

COAST is a collaborative initiative that launched in 2021 to provide enhanced access to substance use treatment and recovery resources through the on-scene response of both a Community Paramedic and a Peer Recovery Specialist.

The SAMHSA grant funds will allow the COAST initiative to increase the hours they are available per week, as well as increase the scope of care that can be provided by their team. Both grants support educating first responders and community partners, working directly with those in need, on opioid emergency identification and response, reducing overdose fatalities. In addition, the grants allow the county to continue strengthening a regional network of care for those with behavioral and drug-related conditions and increase access to critically needed treatment and recovery services.

“These grant funds will provide meaningful, effective, and purpose-driven support towards the opioid epidemic that we continue to battle,” said Fire Chief Tom Coe. “This funding is an enormous step towards increasing Frederick County’s capacity in providing the right resources to members of our community in their time of need.”

For more information about COAST, please contact COAST Program staff at

The award-winning documentary Heroin’s Grip is scheduled to be shown at Catoctin High School, located at 14745 Sabillasville Road in Thurmont, at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. This free event is open to the public and is sponsored by The Town of Thurmont, The Thurmont Addiction Commission (TAC), and FUSE Teen Center.

 Heroin’s Grip tells the story about the heroin and opioid epidemic from the viewpoint of those on the front lines of this national crisis. The film features a Thurmont family and other Frederick County families whose lives have been affected and forever changed by addiction, and includes stories from those currently using, people in recovery, as well as perspectives from law enforcement, healthcare workers, judges, prosecutors, and others who deal with people in this crisis every day. Ultimately, the film gives hope for the user and for the families who’ve been affected.

The film is produced and directed by Emmitsburg resident, Conrad Weaver.  The first lesson Conrad Weaver learned about heroin, as he worked to produce his new film Heroin’s Grip, was that no one is immune. Addiction captures rich and poor alike.

As one reviewer writes, “This movie is so relevant to what families are experiencing across our country. Anyone with a child should see this film. How do we keep our kids from falling into addiction? Heroin’s Grip will put it into perspective for you.”

Maryland currently ranks as the sixth deadliest state for drug overdoses.  During 2018, there were 55 fatal opioid-related overdoses, and 279 non-fatal overdoses in Frederick County alone. Within the United States, there were over 72,000 opiod-related deaths in 2017.  This is an epidemic that spans across all ages, races, and economic groups. This film gives the viewer a view of the crisis from all perspectives. 

All ages are encouraged to attend. Donations of canned foods will be accepted for the local food bank.

For more information about Heroin’s Grip, visit Follow us online at

Heroin’s Grip, stories from the front lines of the opioid epidemic, will premiere in Frederick, Maryland, on Wednesday, September 26, 2018. Director and Producer Conrad Weaver of Emmitsburg is working on finishing up the documentary film, shot almost exclusively in Frederick County.

“Heroin’s Grip is the story about the heroin and opioid crisis in our local community, which is representative of what’s happening around the country. It’s a tragic story for many families and individuals in our county, but it’s also a story about hope. Recovery is possible! There is good coming out of this tragedy, and we want to recognize that in our film,” stated Weaver.

Production on Heroin’s Grip began in early 2017 and continued well into 2018, with Weaver and his small crew capturing interviews and footage from a wide variety of perspectives. The story includes interviews with active users and people in recovery, as well as families who have lost their loved ones to addiction. Weaver has also interviewed members of the Frederick Sheriff’s department, Frederick City Police, treatment providers, as well as staff at Frederick Memorial Hospital and others who are on the front lines of the epidemic.

The Up & Out Foundation, a local non-profit with a mission to educate the public about the disease of addiction, has partnered with Weaver in the production, fundraising, and distribution plans for Heroin’s Grip film. Korey Shorb, founder of the Up & Out Foundation said, “The Up & Out Foundation has been determined and committed to making a difference in our community from the day I decided to start the foundation. I recently lost another friend to suicide, which was a direct result from her struggling from addiction. I’m so sick of burying my friends. This is out of control. With this film, we are hoping to raise awareness and give hope to those who are still struggling with addiction and the ability to realize there is a way out.”  In addition to local screenings, Weaver and the Foundation plan on submitting the film to a number of major film festivals, as well as providing it as an educational resource to schools locally and around the country.

Heroin’s Grip will premiere at the JBK Theater at Frederick Community College on Wednesday, September 26, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. Tickets will go on sale to the public at 8:00 a.m. on September 5, and will be available through; links will be provided to Eventbright page on the website and social media pages.

For more information about the film, visit or send an e-mail to Conrad Weaver at You can also follow the progress of the film project on Facebook at

Heroin’s Grip is sponsored by a number of Frederick County businesses and organizations, including Second Street and Hope Foundation, Stauffer Funeral Homes, and others. For a complete list of sponsors, visit the website at