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Harford County praises recovery programs for opioid deaths down

Posted: 11:14 PM, Jan 03, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-03 23:32:28-05

HARFORD COUNTY, Md. — Maryland is finally seeing a decline in opioid related deaths. Harford County has a 32.8 percent decrease for the first nine months of 2019. The numbers for the entire year have not yet been released.

"I’m cautious yet. I think that we have a long way to go on this generational battle," said Barry Glassman. He has been part of the fight for years and is excited to see progress but remaining cautiously optimistic. He said their success is due to three major things: their prevention programs, long term recovery and deployment of recovery coaches.

"Treatment is a big part of our plan to make sure we get messaging out there that treatment is available. That it is a long tunnel but recovery is possible," said Glassman. "Peers that have actually been through recovery and have changed their lives. They work with folks that are addicted and walk them through recovery, finding a job and rebuilding their lives."

Megan Kaiser is one of the success stories. After five years of depending on opioids, she's been sober for three years.

"I was really struggling and at a very low place in my life," said Kaiser. She got treatment once and was able to last 90 days before relapsing.

"I was in a very bad state and I had reached a p[ace where I was facing legal charges."

She had to go to opioid recovery court and do another round of treatment for 14 days. This time she was offered a spot at a long term recovery house immediately after.

"If I had not gone to Char Hope, I had no where else to go. I would have not been successful," said Kaiser.

The Char Hope Foundation is one of the long term recovery resources in Harford County.

Kaiser is now working for the county as a case manager in drug court, helping people like her rebuild their lives and relationships.

"The resources and the type of community organizations that helped me, drove me to continue to strive to be better in my own personal recovery and then turn around and to try to help other people find the same fulfilling recovery I had," she said,