Howard Co. opioid related overdoses, deaths surpass 2016's total

Posted at 5:28 PM, Oct 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-24 18:12:10-04

New numbers from the Maryland Department of Health show more than 1,000 people have died from opioid related causes this year across the state.


It’s the highest it’s ever been.


At this point no community is a stranger, no place is immune to its effects or its dangers. The number of overdoses and the deaths that may follow have hit a new high in Howard County.


“Of course we’re concerned. Here in Howard County, we have a very collaborative approach to dealing with this. We are looking at it from the perspectives of prevention and treatment, education, and of course enforcement,” Sherry Llewellyn, a spokeswoman from the police department, said.


RELATED: Howard Co. investing fight against opioid, heroin addiction


Llewellyn says a holistic approach is really the only way to stop the epidemic from going any further.


While the pace in which the number of deaths from opioids seemingly outpaces relief efforts, Llewellyn is convinced finding the sources of the drugs won’t be enough.


“…taking drug dealers off the street. But often times people who are committing crimes are people who are people who are addicted to drugs and they need money and they’re using that need to foster burglaries and robberies,” she said.


A bi-product from the drug causing county leaders to invest $250,000 into creating a residential treatment facility for those struggling with addiction.


“Our challenge is to get the people who are already dealing with an addiction into treatment, but even as important or maybe more important, to prevent from starting this kind of activity in the first place,” Llewellyn said.