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Harford County heroin PSAs feature youth who have lost loved ones to overdoses

Posted at 3:38 PM, Jun 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-24 15:38:43-04

Children who have lost loved ones to heroin overdoses will share their stories in a series of public service announcements airing in Harford County movie theaters this summer.

The first PSA features a 12-year-old and a 15-year-old who lost their cousin to an overdose last December.

“She always liked to have fun …. It didn’t seem like anything was wrong,” said Jade, 12, bursting into tears. “Then Mom got the call.”

The other PSAs, which run through September, feature youth ranging in age from eight to 18.

Complete coverage: Community in Crisis

“I am so proud of all of the PSA participants,” said Wendy Messner, founder and president of Rage Against Addiction Inc., a nonprofit that connects addicts and their families with recovery resources. “I applaud their courage to share these deeply painful accounts. It is not in vain. This is what works. These messages keep kids from experimenting with drugs.”

Harford County has struggled with an increase in heroin overdoses. The Harford County Sheriff's Office keeps a running tally of overdoses and deaths, which it updates on a sign outside its headquarters. 

RELATED: In Harford County, heroin deaths continue rising

The first PSA can be viewed online and on the Harford County Office on Drug Control Policy Facebook page.