While every year brings on waves of both positive and negatives, one negative pervaded at an increasingly alarming rate. In 2016, 54 Harford County residents lost their lives to heroin overdoses. This is a rise of 28 from the year before, which equates to a chilling 97% increase. The increase in fatalities continues to be mostly blamed on the addition of the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl to street heroin. Police have pointed out that even though the number of total overdoses is only slightly higher than 2015, the increase in death is tied directly to the increased use of fentanyl.
This is, to say the least, a discouraging statistic for the Harford County community. As the Baltimore Sun reported, the Harford County received state funding in order to combat the rising heroin overdoses; yet, the problem continues to persist. While there is continued increases focus on law enforcement and finding the drug’s outlets, the importance of rehabilitation facilities becomes even more imperative during these trying times.
The police follow their duties and responsibilities to the best of their ability, but we must keep in mind that defeating heroine is a community effort. We cannot put the responsibility on one department to rid our community of a deadly drug, as we all have a part to play. Supporting the rehabilitation centers in Harford County is just as important as supporting the police who are combating it. While Harford Police received Narcan in order to help save the lives of individuals who have overdosed, Narcan alone cannot defeat addiction. Addiction is beaten by the support of our loved ones, as well as receiving both physical and mental treatment in order to cleanse one’s self of the trauma caused by heroin. Receiving treatment is just as imperative as locking up drug dealers in order to defeat our heroine epidemic and save lives.
The beginning of 2017 has already ushered in three heroin overdose deaths and counting. In order to make a difference, every facet of our community must come together to combat this epidemic. If you know anyone who is struggling with addiction, please contact us in order to receive resources. We know if everyone in our community plays their part and supports the treatment process as seriously as the enforcement, we will make a big difference in the battle against heroin. Click on the link in the top right in order to contact us.