From the Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy:
Bel Air, MD) – The Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy in partnership with the Harford County Narcotics Task Force; The Homecoming Project, a certified inpatient treatment facility located in Bel Air; and Addictions Connection Resources (ACR), a 501(c) nonprofit organization that provides resources for all those suffering from the disease of addiction and to connect families to treatment resources, supplied funding to the Harford County Public School system. The goal is to take to every seventh grader in the school district to the Maryland Science Center to view the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) exhibit Target America.
Target America: Opening Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause is a 10,000 square-foot exhibit produced by the Drug Enforcement Administration Museum that began a national tour in 2002. The exhibit presents both a global and historical overview of the many costs and consequences of drugs in society. A new portion of Target America focuses on Maryland and Baltimore. It explores the evolution of heroin abuse and enforcement in the area, the addiction science research taking place at Maryland universities, and drug abuse prevention groups working to educate students across the state.
Most Americans are unaware of the science behind the damaging effects of drugs on the mind and body or the other tremendous costs associated with the production, sale and use of drugs. The costs to society–estimated at more than $180 billion a year–are born by all of us in some way. This exhibit is designed to open eyes to the science behind drug addiction and the countless costs of drugs–to individuals, American society, and the world–and to provide food for thought on how each and every one of us can make a difference.
Ginny Popiolek, supervisor of health and physical education for the Harford County Public Schools took a group of middle school health teachers to the grand opening to review the display at the Maryland Science center. Ms. Popiolek stated, “The DEA Museum display at the Maryland Science Center is a once in a life time educational tool that is available to our students. It’s a great opportunity for our teachers to have this enhanced information available to our students and to have instructions to use in the classrooms.”
Joseph Ryan, manager of the Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy was on the steering committee to bring the Target America Display to the Baltimore area. DEA reached out to Mr. Ryan to help with the vision to bring this asset to the community to help students understand the consequences related to abusing drugs and alcohol. Tucker McNulty from the Harford County Office of Economic Development and Beth Jones, supervisor of addictions at the Harford County Health Department were also on the steering committee.
The display will be at the Maryland Science Center until September 1, 2014. For more information about Target America lot onto the Maryland Science Center at www.mdsci.org.
The Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy is a division within the Department of Community Services. The Harford County Department of Community Services was established in 1979 via Executive Order and works daily to meet the needs of seniors, youth, people with disabilities and those struggling to overcome addiction. The Department works with federal, state, local and private agencies to ensure our county continues to evolve and remains dedicated to providing the best possible services for citizens and the community.