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Harford County wants to stop heroin abuse

Posted at 11:29 PM, Sep 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-09 23:29:04-04

It started with prescription pills after a 2010 car wreck.

“No family wants to go through it, no family should go through it," said Sandi Gallion.

But soon Nolan Gallion traded the scripts for something easier to get, heroin.  And he was addicted.

"This was one thing I could not protect my son from," Sandi said.

After going through rehab twice, the 24-year-old made it six months clean before he used the opioid again.

"I went looking for him and unfortunately I found him," said Sandi.  "My son died on the 25th of January, my husband and I did CPR on him, my youngest daughter did CPR on him."

Nolan may have lost the fight with drugs, but his family is trying to use his story to save someone else the pain they're living.  Wednesday night it was a packed room of nearly 200 people.  County leaders hosted a town hall meeting to focus on the heroin problem in the area.

“Harford County, like many counties in the state of Maryland are struggling with this epidemic of heroin overdose fatalities," said Harford County Executive Barry Glassman.

The Sheriff formed the 'HOPE for Harford Workgroup' a few months ago to come up with inventive ideas to stem the drug use.  He hopes the forum will spread the word and maybe generate some non-traditional ways to attack the epidemic.

"Heroin's never been more cheap, it's never been more plentiful and it's never been more pure,” said Sheriff Jeff Gahler.  "Hopefully we're gonna focus on prevention and educating the public just how deadly and how dangerous this drug is."         

Something the Gallion family takes very seriously.

"Parents aren't supposed to bury their children, they're not supposed to."

Kids as young as 11-years-old are trying drugs in Harford County, so leaders are now taking their message about the dangers of heroin and other drugs to area middle schools.  There will be 6 meetings total starting at 6:30PM:

September 30th - Patterson Middle/High School

October 7th - Fallston Middle School

October 13th – Aberdeen Middle School

October 22nd – North Harford Middle School

October 28th – Edgewood Middle School

November 5th -  Southampton Middle School