On Monday, Feb. 10, the Montgomery County Police Department’s Community Engagement Division rolled out a new weapon to combat opioid addiction, the Community Opioid Prevention Education (COPE) Trailer. COPE is a partnership with the Opioid Intervention Team (OIT). That team consists of participants from the Montgomery County Department of Police (MCPD), the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Services (MCFRS), Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The trailer was purchased through a grant with MCPS with additional funding by the Montgomery County Police Foundation.
The inside of the trailer is built to resemble a typical bedroom and bathroom that would be in any home in Montgomery County. Throughout the trailer are items displayed that will be considered minor (yellow) and major (red) indicators that the person living in the bedroom has a problem with opioids or other controlled dangerous substances. As participants tour the trailer, a guide will point out these items and explain what they are, how they are used, and why they are concerning. On display were (fake) examples of different types of controlled dangerous substances like heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and marijuana. There were also brochures available of all the programs that the County has to offer for addiction and other drug-related illnesses.
This trailer assists a loved one (parent, spouse, friend or other family member) with the ability to identify “red flags”, “signals”: articles inside a bedroom or bathroom that might be indicators that there is an opioid problem. The idea is to identify these things before it is too late.