Speak Up, Save a Life

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What is Speak up, Save a Life?

The Opioid Epidemic is devastating families and communities nationwide. According to Maryland Department of Health, the number of drug and alcohol-related intoxication deaths occurring in Maryland increased in 2020, reaching an all-time high of 2, 799 deaths, an 8% increase over the number of deaths (2, 379) in 2019. Eighty-nine percent of all intoxication deaths that occurred in Maryland in 2020 were opioid-related. To tackle this epidemic and reduce the number of overdose deaths, the State's Attorney's Office for Montgomery County has initiated Speak up, Save a Life, an Opioid Overdose Education and Prevention Program. Our mission is to educate students, families, and the community about the opioid epidemic and provide knowledge of Maryland's Good Samaritan Law.

Annual "Speak Up, Save a Life" Student Video Contest

The Video Contest challenges teenagers to create an original video to promote awareness of the dangers of opioid abuse, overdose, and fentanyl among teens. The contest is open to all 6th - 12th grade students living in Montgomery County. Top prize is $1,000.
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States Attorney John McCarthy Educates Students at Local MCPS on the Good Samaritan Law

Courtesy of News 4 Washington, DC - Juliana Valencia 

"These kids are being victims of fraud. Because they think they're buying drugs that are maybe a molly or an ecstasy or an Oxy, that's really fentanyl because the manufactures and the people distributing these drugs do not care whether these kids live or die, they just care about the profits."

"There was a student who would have essentially died on a bathroom floor but for the fact that another student had seen our presentation only days before saw the situation and immediately called the authorities and saved that student's life. That kind of thing that happened now we're not grateful for the overdose and I think that's part of the tragedy that we're trying to warn kids about but we're grateful for the response grateful that student saw what was happening and immediately did the right thing."
State's Attorney John McCarthy

Courtesy of Fox 5 News - David Kaplan

"Being artificially manufactured they're being put out on the street and people are taking what they think is a diluted pill or an Oxy and in reality, they're taking fentanyl and they're not waking up from it."
State's Attorney John McCarthy


Speak up, Save a Life Toolkit

The purpose of the toolkit is to provide access to information and resources regarding the opioid epidemic that students, teachers, parents, and the community can use to educate themselves and others. Included materials in the toolkit are easy-to-download and adaptable presentations, handouts and audio-visual instructions for the education and prevention of opioid overdose. 

For those seeking materials, please download the materials, which include a Parent Presentation, Student Presentation, and Handout.