The numbers are into the hundreds already for the year – those in the state who’ve overdoses on heroin and other opioids.
It’s a problem impacting every corner of society.
The Community College of Baltimore County wanted to show students the reality of the epidemic.
Inside the trailer, nicknamed ‘H.O.P.E. House,’ the hiding places are as ubiquitous as the growing number of those impacted by the epidemic.
As the count ticks up of those overdosing or dying from heroin, these volunteers want parents to crack down on the drugs veiled in plain sight.
“To somehow make parents and caretakes of children more aware about intervening early and looking for the signs,” Silvia Meranski, a volunteer with the house, said.
Silvia doesn’t work with the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, but showing the lengths those stashing drugs will go to hide them, is what she does in her spare time.
“Think about every nook and cranny that something might be hidden because kids are changing every single day,” Meranksi said.
The touring trailer, provided by the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, is packed with examples of warning signs of those who may be abusing drugs: from posters, to sneak stashes, to everyday items used to tuck paraphernalia.
The stop on CCBC’s campus is Harford’s latest attempt at the heroin overdose prevention effort.
“It’s really sad. Some people are so young and you would never think that. They look so normal,” Alyssa Keller, a sophomore on campus, said.
A challenge Silvia says takes active parents, family, and friends to find those hiding their addictions in plain sight.
“It isn’t that it just could be, it actually – I’m sure, it is. And we don’t know who those people are, but as we identify them or discover them, we have staff in place who can help direct them to the right kind of prevention or rehabilitation,” Dr. Sandra Kurtinitis, the president at the school, said.
CCBC just started an opioid task force to try to teach students, faculty, and staff the dangers of addictions.
All of the places where the ‘fake’ drugs were stashed on the HOPE house are where actual deputies found drugs in real cases.