Mission: HC DrugFree provides resources and education on prevention, treatment, recovery, health and wellness to help Howard County residents develop knowledge and skills to understand and address behavioral health (substance use and mental health) disorders.
Vision: Howard County is a special place to live and to raise a family. To keep it special and to combat the rising dangers of substances and other behavioral health disorders, HC DrugFree provides resources and education on prevention, treatment, recovery and wellness to assist Howard County residents. By partnering and providing outreach with the local schools, community organizations, governmental entities and businesses, we offer up-to-date information and resources on the misuse, abuse and dependence of illegal substances and medications through our website and social media, speakers, educators and professionals. HC DrugFree is the premier organization in Howard County that not only provides education, awareness and prevention to individuals, and families, but is on the forefront in organizing Drug Take-Back events, conducting informational programs for students and families, providing secure receptacles for medications, and other innovative methods to help our county’s citizens have the tools to live a healthy life.
History: In 1995, staff at Oakland Mills High School (OMHS) in Columbia, MD organized to respond to the alarming number of teens using illegal substances such as tobacco, alcohol and other drugs as well as truancy, violence, weapons, and gangs. As this initiative expanded from OMHS to additional schools across Howard County, it became known as the Eastern Coalition Against Substance Abuse. As the coalition grew and became more demanding of school staff time and resources, HC DrugFree, a nonprofit was formed. In March of 2004, HC DrugFree, Inc. was incorporated and in October 2014, was awarded 501(c)(3) nonprofit status by the IRS. HC DrugFree continues to work closely with the Howard County Public School System, the PTA Council of Howard County, the Parent Teacher Student Associations, and other community, state and national partners.