March is HC DrugFree's
Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Awareness Month
in Howard County  
Executive Director Chosen for Leadership MD Class of 2015 
Governor Larry Hogan congratulating Joan at the class reception in March
Joan Webb Scornaienchi, HC DrugFree's Executive Director, was selected to participate in the Leadership Maryland Class of 2015. Leadership Maryland is a professional development program dedicated to building a stronger Maryland by educating, cultivating and connecting our state's leaders. Joan is one of 50 Maryland leaders chosen for Leadership Maryland's 23rd class who will complete the eight-month hands-on learning program focused on the state's most vital social, economic and environmental issues.

HC DrugFree HoCo FilmFest Winning Video
HC DrugFree' s Teen Advisory Council member Rachel Lin's film won the HC DrugFree category, "Keeping Youth Safe at Concerts". Joan Webb Scornaienchi presented Rachel Lin, a junior at Howard High School, with the 1st place trophy at the 2015 HoCo FilmFest. Rachel's film about concert safety, The Kids Aren't Alright, can be viewed here.    

Rachel Lin Running for Board of Education
Good luck to Rachel Lin, an active member of HC DrugFree's Teen Advisory Council, who is running for the Howard County Student Member of the Board of Education (SMOB). Election day is April 22. Click here to see Rachel's SMOBilicious campaign video. 


Just Say " Know"

Teen2Teen Program - Know What It's Like  
A panel of teens and young adults in recovery will discuss their personal journeys and answer questions from the audience about youth alcohol and drug use and how it affects families in Howard County. The program will be held on Wednesday, March 25 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM at Atholton High School Auditorium.

Senior Week: Staying Safe in Ocean City 
Parents, bring your teens to this program...

Howard County Drug Take Back Day - April 11
The Howard County Police Department and HC DrugFree are once again partnering to collect unwanted and expired over-the-counter and prescription medications. Our next Drug Take Back Day will be on Saturday, April 11 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. HCPD and HC DrugFree urge everyone to properly dispose of medications because two-thirds of teens who abuse prescription drugs are getting them from home, friends, or family. Please do not flush meds into the water system! Instead, clean your medicine cabinets and bring your over-the-counter or prescription meds to one of the 9 convenient collection sites in Howard County. Click here for the list of collection sites or visit

HC DrugFree Teen Advisory Council Meeting 
Monday, April 13 from 5:30 to 7:00 PM 
The Barn in the Oakland Mills Village Center 
5853 Robert Oliver Place 
Columbia, MD 

Howard County Teens Wanted to Know!
Of the more than 8,000 questions submitted to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 869 were from Howard County teens using HC DrugFree's access code. To view all questions submitted by Howard County teens, click here or go to and enter HC DrugFree in the "search for your screen name" box.

Q: Why does alcohol have a different effect on developing brains than adults? 
A: The brain works by forming networks of brain cells that talk to each other. During adolescence, brain circuits that are important for survival are formed and nurtured while those that aren't used are discarded. Alcohol interferes with the ability of the brain to form those networks and with the ability of brain cells in those networks to talk to each other. This is bad news for teens because, once the window of brain development closes in the early 20s, the brain circuits that exist will likely stick around. So, if the opportunity to mold and fine tune brain circuits during adolescence is wasted, it could have a huge impact on future success and quality of life. Similarly, a drinking problem that develops during the teen years can be quite stubborn due to the molding of drinking-related circuits that occurs.     
Q: What makes drugs addictive?  
A: The simple answer is that they work in the reward center of the brain and cause the brain chemical dopamine to be more active.  The drug kind of tricks your brain into thinking something good is happening.  But it really isn't.  If you keep using the drug, you can become addicted and the brain's dopamine will be reduced, meaning that you'll feel bad when you don't take the drug.

Know How to Save a Life!
Opioid Overdose Response Training
To learn more about opioid overdose response free training sessions given by the Howard County Health Department, call 410-313-6202, email or visit
Smoking Cessation Classes
Classes offered by the Howard County Health Department. Call 410-313-6265 for more information.

Free CPR Training 
Howard County Fire and Rescue Services is teaching a free CPR class at two locations in the County. Please click here for more information.


For more information, contact
Joan Webb Scornaienchi
Executive Director
HC DrugFree
Wilde Lake Village Center
5305 Village Center Drive, Suite 206 
Columbia, MD 21044
HC DrugFree | 443-325-0040 | | Wilde Lake Village Center
5305 Village Center Drive, Suite 206
Columbia, MD 21044