Halloween: Fun for Kids, Worrisome for Parents
Halloween is a big treat for kids of all ages but can be a big worry for parents and motorists. Parents can minimize risks this October 31 by following some basic safety tips:
  • Parents should accompany small children around the neighborhood. Children old enough to go out on their own should go out in groups and carry a flashlight and cellphone.
  • Parents should warn children to cross streets carefully, and should use reflective tape on costumes so drivers can see them.
  • Parents should inspect all treats before letting children eat them.
  • Parents should practice defensive driving. Never drink and drive. Ever. Watch out for the other guy who may not take this advice to heart.

Let's all work together to keep our little ghosts and goblins safe this Halloween! 

(Information provided by our partner, McFarlin Insurance Agency)   

Pens Resembling Hypodermic Needles Stir Ire Amid Drug Crisis
Pens that look like hypodermic needles are being sold as Halloween novelty toys, stirring concerns among parents and drug abuse prevention advocates as the country battles a rising heroin and opioid addiction crisis. Click here to read more in the ABC News story.
Halloween is Not Just About Candy Any More!
Halloween is a popular social event for college students. Even students who do not ordinarily drink excessively might view Halloween as an opportunity to engage in high-risk drinking.

Research shows that students who drink with a specific reason to celebrate, like a holiday such as Halloween, reach higher levels of intoxication. Along with increased drinking comes negative consequences such as skipping class, falling behind in classes, injury and safety risks, and use of other drugs. Read more from The Maryland Collaborative to Reduce College Drinking and Related Problems.

Do You KNOW ...
the Difference Between Drug Dependence and Drug Addiction? 
People who take opioids for a long time usually become physically dependent on them. That is, they experience withdrawal symptoms if the drug is stopped. Physical dependence is not the same thing as addiction, which is characterized by a craving for the drug and compulsive, uncontrolled use of the drug despite the harm done to the user or other people. (Merck Manual)


Comments? Email to [email protected] for our Parent/Adult Blog page. 
Free Howard County Police and HC DrugFree Magnets 

HC DrugFree is proud to partner with the Howard County Police Department and the Howard County Health Department to keep important phone numbers on your refrigerator or file cabinet.

Email [email protected] or call 443-325-0040 to request your magnet today!

Click here to read the magnet. 
HC DrugFree's Teen Advisory Council (TAC)
HC DrugFree's Teen Advisory Council (TAC) meets one Monday evening a month from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM at The Barn (Oakland Mills Village Center) and is open to all Howard County high school students. The next TAC meeting will be held on November 9. Community service hours are available. For more information, please visit and go to the Teen Advisory Council page, or contact Joan Webb Scornaienchi, HC DrugFree's Executive Director at [email protected] or  443-325-0040.

Permanent Medication Disposal Boxes
Howard County residents can drop off unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications at 3 locations in the County where permanent disposal boxes have been installed. Boxes are located at the Howard County Police Northern District Station (3410 Courthouse Drive, Ellicott City) open 24/7, the Howard County Police Southern District Station (11226 Scaggsville Road, Laurel) open 24/7, and the Gary Arthur Community Center (2400 Route 97, Cooksville) open 7 AM to 9 PM Monday-Saturday, and 9 AM to 6 PM on Sundays.

Coming soon: HC DrugFree has partnered with the Howard County Police Department to provide additional permanent medication disposal boxes in the County...Stay tuned for more details.
Free Training to Save a Life! Opioid Overdose Response Training
If your child, spouse or friend is abusing opioids (prescription pain medicines such as Percocet or Vicodin, and street drugs such as heroin), attend the free training offered by the Howard County Health Department. The next classes are scheduled for Monday, November 16 at 5:00 PM, and Monday, December 14 at 8:00 AM at the Health Department. Register by calling the Health Department at 410-313-6202.
HC DrugFree's Newsletters are Now Archived
To read past issues of HC DrugFree's newsletters, go to and click on Resources - Newsletter Archive. 
If you would like to receive any of these free pamphlets, please send your name and address to [email protected].

Si le gustaria recibir uno de los folletos gratis abajo, favor de mandar su nombre y direccion fisica a [email protected].

For more information, contact
Joan Webb Scornaienchi,  Executive Director
HC DrugFree
Wilde Lake Village Center
5305 Village Center Drive, Suite 206
Columbia, MD 21044
Help us to be able to continue providing invaluable information and resources to the community - DONATE TODAY!  We thank you in advance for your support.
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