Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic in Harford County
In the past six years, 60 percent of all overdose deaths in Harford County, Maryland were because of prescription drugs. In 2010, 80 percent of the total drug or alcohol related overdose deaths for residents of Harford County were connected to prescription drug abuse.
“It’s devastating our community,” said Joe Ryan of the Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy. “Prescription drug abuse is hazardous to your health and can kill you in a heartbeat. And that’s what we’re trying to address.” Ryan and Lt. Lee Dunbar, Hartford County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Task Force Commander, were leading a workshop to help educate the community about the dangers of prescription drug abuse. Dunbar talked about how the prescription drug epidemic has negatively affected the community. “We’re going after the supply, but I think it’s time to start looking at the demand,” said Dunbar. “It’s an epidemic. It’s here. It’s a crisis situation.”
Adderall is now thought of as a “new gateway drug into pills,” according to Dunbar. He stresses that the first line of defense against prescription drug addiction is the family. “Drugs are readily available. The kids know that,” said Ryan.