The first show of a new series on County Cable Montgomery (CCM), Montgomery County’s government cable station, this week surpassed 20,000 online views — making it the most-watched issue-based video in the history of the station.
The first show of the series “Montgomery County: A Closer Look” studied how the nationwide heroin epidemic has become a prominent problem in Montgomery County, impacting local families.
“Heroin—The Quiet Epidemic” debuted on CCM in September. It also became available via streaming at the Montgomery County web site at http://tinyurl.com/z9982v8 and on YouTube at https://youtu.be/RkHtrNxkXPE . In the first week of its release on YouTube, the 30-minute video was viewed more than 2,500 times.
The show originally aired on CCM, which can be viewed on Cable Channels 996 (high definition) and 6 (standard definition) on Comcast; Channels 1056 (HD) and 6 (SD) on RCN; and Channel 30 on Verizon. The show additionally was broadcast on the Montgomery Community Media station, which also is a member of the County’s organization of PEG (Public / Education / Government) cable channels.
“Heroin – The Quiet Epidemic” is about the rise of overdose cases over the last five years in the county. The show tells the story of families who found themselves trying to battle the epidemic, with some of the efforts too late. One Montgomery County death involved the daughter of a Montgomery County judge, who is featured in the show.
The show also provides signs that parents should aggressively look for — even if they believe there is no reason to suspect their child has a drug problem.
A report released in June 2016 by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene shows the number of deaths related to heroin, prescription opioids or fentanyl has more than doubled statewide since 2010. In that year, there were 588 such reported deaths in Maryland, including 238 by heroin. In 2015, there were 1,439 such reported deaths statewide, including 748 by heroin. In 2015, Montgomery County had 37 deaths.
In the video, the CCM cameras were allowed into a meeting of the Montgomery County organization that members have named S.O.U.L., or Surviving Our Ultimate Loss. The weekly Tuesday night group started with a handful of mothers one year ago. Its meetings now have about 25 members.
The video advises parents, once aware of the spread of the epidemic, to take a further look if their child sleeps more than normal and often complains of an upset stomach or constipation. Finding items that are out of the ordinary for a child could lead to concern.
Montgomery County public safety units now carry the drug Narcan, which, when used in time, can pull a victim out of a heroin overdose. The video also talks about Montgomery County’s Drug Court that provides an alternative to jail for some people charged with violations of drug laws.
“We are fortunate in Montgomery County to have organizations like
Susan Kenedy was the producer and reporter for “Heroin—The Quiet Epidemic.” Mike Springirth was the videographer and editor. Executive producers Sonya Healy and Delphine Harriston conceived the story idea for this edition of “Montgomery County: A Closer Look.”