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Harford County overdose rate drops

Posted: 10:21 PM, Jan 01, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-01 23:16:14-05

HARFORD COUNTY, Md. — The men and women on the front lines in the battle against opioids in Harford County have a statistic to be proud of.

The amount of people who died from overdose dropped by 30 percent in the county last year.

Obviously, they want to the numbers on the signs to read 0, but Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said getting down 30 percent is a huge step.

“It might be one person suffering from addiction, but It touches the whole family,” Gahler said. “It touches their friends, it touches the community. Also, in a bad way with the crime that comes associated with the epidemic.”

A lot of agencies like the Klein Family Harford County Crisis Center contributing.

“When someone’s ready for treatment they need that treatment right away. We have a way of reaching out to them but not actually putting them in a place to start that treatment right away. That’s been our latest big thing Upper Chesapeake Health.”

These signs are just part of the Sheriff’s Offices efforts that include an informational trailer.

“Our overdose awareness trailer that we bring around to different communities. Make parents and adults familiar with the signs to look for if someone may be suffering.”

It’s not just heroine taking lives anymore— synthetics like fentanyl making drugs even more dangerous

“The people who would sell this they don’t care, they’ll manufacture it any kind of product they can do to make a sale and that’s the people we target through our law enforcement efforts.”

Working together with federal law enforcement to get 30-year sentences for selling an opioid to someone that dies from an overdose.

“Most of our heroine comes from Baltimore, that’s our source city,” Gahler said. If you talk to the Sheriff from Cecil County, he will tell you Wilmington, Philadelphia is where there heroin and fentanyl comes in front. Ours is Baltimore City and we have made no bones about it working with our state and federal partners chasing the dealers down no matter where they are.”

The signs are changed every Monday soon this one will say zero on both of the slots here and they are hoping it stays that way for a long time.