The heroin and opiate epidemic is everywhere, and Maryland is no exception to its devastation. With Baltimore as a central heroin trade hub, these drugs seem to be all too easy to come across, and the devastation is clear. Nearly everyone these days knows someone who is addicted or has overdosed- those of us in the recovery community in Maryland see it constantly, and it is both heartbreaking and eye-opening. We need to be aware of the reach of addiction, and know how it is impacting our communities.
Harford County, MD
The Baltimore Sun recently reported an alarming increase in drug overdoses in Harford County, Maryland over last year’s numbers. At press time, 2016 had claimed 52 nonfatal overdoses (22 more than last year) and 7 fatal overdoses in Harford County alone. A spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office stated that a tainted batch of heroin was likely partially responsible for these numbers, and that investigators were trying to find and eradicate the source. One substance that has been found in the tainted batch? Fentanyl.
Thankfully, county law enforcement officials in Harford (as in many other counties) are trained on and equipped with Narcan, which they hope will help to reduce some of the fatalities- it has already saved 13 people thus far in 2016. Officials also commented on the increase in exposure of addiction, with addicts using heroin in more and more public places, such as public restrooms. The director of the Harford County Office on Drug Control Policy, Joe Ryan, concluded that continued effort, awareness, and prevention are key if we are to gain any leverage in the heroin and opiate epidemic.
See Something? Say Something.
The Sheriff’s Office urges anyone with information to call the Crime/Drug Tip Line, at 410-836-7788, to anonymously report any suspicious activity in the community.