First ever Wicomico Goes Purple campaign “a success”

WICOMICO CO., Md. – September is over and that means the first Wicomico Goes Purple initiative is coming to an end. Organizers say the month-long campaign, designed to raise awareness about addiction and treatment, was a success.

If you look at numbers, Wicomico Goes Purple handed out more than 8-thousand informational brochures and wristbands, they had 26 sponsors, the Opioid Intervention Team brought their educational trailer to 16 sites and 13 local businesses decorated their storefronts with purple. But organizers say their efforts are far from over.

“September is over but this is going to continue year round,” says Bill Chambers with the Salisbury Chamber of Commerce.

Stephanie Willey, the chair for Wicomico Goes Purple, says although the campaign was new to the area it was gaining traction, “It kind of gained momentum as the month went on.”

From a night at the Shorebirds, to a boat parade, to decorating storefronts organizers say the entire community showed up for this first-ever campaign.

“They really helped get the conversation started about how important of a topic this is to talk about openly and freely,” says Chambers.

The goal: to get rid of the stigma that surrounds addiction, offer hope to those struggling and spread the word about treatment.

“Everybody took purple and made it theirs so to speak. I think that speaks to the fact that this crisis is affecting our entire community. That’s why I think we’ve had so much support,” says Willey.

It’s fair to say that almost everyone has been affected by addiction in one way or another, which is why local leaders say there was so much involvement this year. “It wasn’t a matter of did they want to or was it an option or was it good for business. They needed to. It was an obligation,” says Chambers.

And this is just the beginning. “September is just the chance for us to really get people engaged talking and involved about what we can do as a community to help fight and tackle this terrible epidemic,” says Chambers.

There are some simple things you can do to help spread awareness about addiction. Experts say you can talk to kids, keep prescriptions locked up, safely dispose of unwanted medicines at local police stations and get trained on how to administer Naloxone.

Organizers tell 47 ABC they’re looking forward to more events throughout the year and they’re already planning for Wicomico Goes Purple in 2020.

If you or someone you know needs treatment or help with addiction call the Life Crisis Center at its free hotline 2-1-1 or visit WicomicoGoesPurple.com.

Categories: Links Mentioned On-Air, Maryland, Opioid Crisis