Children as young as 11 have reported using heroin in Harford County; it costs less than a movie ticket; it’s easy to find, and can be addictive after just one use. To arm parents against this nationwide epidemic, a series of information sessions are planned this fall in Harford County, through a unique partnership between the Glassman administration’s Office of Drug Control Policy, Harford County Public Schools, the Harford County Council of PTAs, the Sherriff’s Office, and the Health Department.
The hour-long sessions are free, and will be offered at area middle schools from late September through early November. Students, their parents, and all concerned citizens are invited to attend a session to learn about illegal drugs, the symptoms of addiction, available treatment options, and the work Harford County is doing to eradicate heroin from our communities.
All presentations will start at 6:30 p.m. on the following dates at these locations:
- Wednesday, September 30 – Patterson Mill Middle/High School
- Wednesday, October 7 – Fallston Middle School
- Tuesday, October 13 – Aberdeen Middle School
- Thursday, October 22 – North Harford Middle School
- Wednesday, October 28 – Edgewood Middle School
- Thursday, November 5 – Southampton Middle School
“I urge all Harford County parents to learn the shocking facts about heroin, because prevention is our best defense,” said County Executive Barry Glassman. “County leaders are working together to do what we can, but no government program is as powerful as parents talking to their children.”
Heroin, which can be snorted or injected, is readily available for as little as $8. It is commonly mixed with Fentanyl, making it significantly more dangerous and deadly. Many individuals develop an addiction to opiates after using prescription pain medicines. Studies show that most children will be first introduced to drugs and alcohol in middle school by a friend or family member.
“Heroin does not affect just one zip code,” said Harford County Public Schools Superintendent Barbara Canavan. “Heroin is a predator and has the potential to affect every household in every part of the county. I strongly encourage parents, members of the community, and community leaders to attend one of our community meetings to become better informed on how they can wage war on this drug.”
Earlier this month, nearly 300 concerned citizens attended a town hall meeting to voice their concerns about the epidemic. Predominant messages during the meeting included the need for increased awareness, more treatment options, and more support for individuals in recovery. Citizens and government representatives also expressed the need for individuals to understand that heroin is prevalent in all areas of Harford County, including our rural and suburban communities, and for parents to talk to their kids about drugs at an early age.
To learn more, to register for other community presentations and events, or to request a speaker presentation for your organization, neighborhood or business, please visit www.harfordcountymd.gov/services/drugcontrol or contact the Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy at 410-638-3333.