Picture of hand coming out from under white blanket. One Opioid Overdose is too many.

Grassroots 24/7 Crisis Assistance - 800-422-0009 (toll free) 410-531-6677 (local)
Walk-in Assistance 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m., 7 Days/Week at Grassroots Crisis Center
Resources and Referrals
- 410-313-6202

April is Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Awareness Month

Nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections (STIs) occur in the United States every year, costing the American healthcare system nearly $16 billion in direct medical costs alone, states a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2016, Howard County chlamydia and gonorrhea rates were the highest they had been in 10 years.  Chlamydia rates increased more than 300% from 62 (1996) to 271 (2016). Gonorrhea rates increased 13% during the same period.

America’s youth shoulder a substantial burden of these infections. CDC estimates that half of all new STIs in the U.S. occur among young men and women aged 15 to 24.  In Howard County during 2016, youth ages 15-19 represented only 6% of the population, but were disproportionately affected by STIs. In fact, 29% of youth ages 15-19 tested positive for chlamydia and 14% for gonorrhea.  

For all individuals who are sexually active – particularly young people – STI screening and prompt treatment are critical to protect one’s health and prevent transmission to others. The Health Department provides free screening and treatment for those under 21 years of age.  Call 410-313-7500 or visit the HCHD STI Program page.


1st Annual Home Run for Recovery Softball Tournament   

The Home Run for Recovery Softball Tournament will be held on:
Saturday, May 5, 2017 at Centennial Park North from 10:30-3:00.  Teams representing those in recovery will play against teams representing government agencies.  Come celebrate recovery and cheer on the players!  Click here for more information!

Home Run for Recovery Softball Tournament Flier
Click on the image above to register!

It's Still Flu Season

To protect yourself from the flu you should:

  • Get a flu shot!
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people. 
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. 
  • If you are sick with flu symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs are spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

More information about avoiding the flu may be found at:

Featured Video


Howard County native, David Nix, talks about his experience with substance misuse.

Opioid/Heroin Overdose Prevention Training

For more information about substance use/abuse and prevention see our Behavioral Health page.  For Opioid Overdose Response (naloxone) Training, call 410-313-6202 or contact orpresponse@howardcountymd.gov.  (You must reside, work or attend school in Howard County to participate.) 

Opioid Overdose Prevention Training Time Place
April 23, 2018 9:00 a.m.  Howard County Health Depatment
8930 Stanford Blvd.
Columbia, MD  21045
May 21, 2018 9:00 a.m.                   "
June 18, 2018 9:00 a.m.                   "
July 16, 2018 9:00 a.m.                   "

An Opioid Overdose Response Program Information video is available for viewing online. To view, click on the following ezcast.com link to Opioid/Heroin Overdose Training.

Suicide Prevention App for Smart Phones

Apple App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/there-is-hope/id1122136102?mt=8

Google Play Store:  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nextlogik.grassroots&hl=en

Rabies Vaccinations for Your Pets 
Ttwo female vet techs with dog on exam tablehe Howard County Health Department, in cooperation with the Animal Control and Adoption Center sponsor monthly local vaccination clinics to protect your pet from the rabies virus. Bring your dog, cat, or ferret for a discounted vaccination the 3rd Thursday of each month.
Location:  8576 Davis Road
                     Columbia, MD 21045  
Time:  Every 3rd Thursday

Between the hours of 12pm and 1:30pm

 Cost: $5.00 cash or check

Payable to “Director of Finance”

•    All pets must be on a leash or in a carrier!
•    Pets must be at least 3 months of age to receive a vaccination.
•    Re-vaccinate animals by the 1 or 3 year vaccination expiration date.

•    Please bring proof of any previous vaccinations. For cats and dogs you will need a copy of the previous rabies vaccine from your veterinarian. This will allow us to document a 3 year vaccination on your new certificate.

For more information, contact:
Bureau of Environmental Health at 
(410) 313-1773
Animal Control and Adoption Center at 
(410) 313-2780

Food-borne Illnesses
Important: If you think you are sick due to eating bad food or food product, contact the Bureau of Environmental Health at 410-313-1772.  After business cartoon of a tomato inundated by bacteria hours, leave a message with your call back information and we will return your call first thing the morning of the following day.