Former BMX racer hosts opioid community talk at Gaithersburg High School

Tony Hoffman, a former pro BMX racer and U.S. Olympic coach, led a discussion on opioid prevention Wednesday for Gaithersburg High School parents. 

Hoffman now speaks around the country, bringing awareness to the dangers of prescription pills and heroin abuse. The community talk at Gaithersburg High School will cover teen mental health, substance use, connections, and resilience. It will be held from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

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Tony Hoffman

The city's COPE trailer will be onsite, and there will also be information on youth enrichment and support services available. 

Hoffman was a promising BMX racer with sponsorships from brands like Fox Racing and Airwalk shoes in high school. He landed the cover of BMXer Magazine and seemed on his way to superstardom, but Hoffman says he suffered from anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts his senior year. 

His life spiraled as he began to misuse Oxycontin and other drugs. He was homeless at one point and he wound up incarcerated due to a drug-related robbery — all because of his addiction. 

Hoffman recovered and went on to race professionally. And accomplished his dream of going to the Olympics by coaching Brooke Crain to a 4th place finish at the Rio Olympic Games in the Women's BMX event. 

In conjunction with the parent-community talk Wednesday, Hoffman will lead assemblies for middle and high school students throughout the week of March 6.

The City of Gaithersburg is receiving close to $800,000 in funding over the next 18 years from the National Opioid Settlement agreement to combat opioid use and substance use disorder. 

The funding became available in 2023 and will go toward programs like the one being hosted by Hoffman on opioid education, prevention, and treatment.