Heroin graphic

Heroin overdose deaths in Frederick County reached an all-time high in 2013 at 21 deaths, the highest single-year total since 2007, according to a state report.

From 2012 to 2013 alone, heroin-related deaths spiked from 10 to 21, according to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's 2013 Report of Drug and Alcohol-Related Intoxication Deaths in Maryland.

“It's never going away,” Cpl. Vincent Brown, the assistant supervisor of Frederick Police Department's Drug Enforcement Unit, said at a June 17 Neighborhood Advisory Council meeting. “But we're trying to curtail it.”

Brown said he first began to notice more heroin users in Frederick County in October 2013.

“Prior to that, we saw heroin maybe once a month,” he said at the meeting. “Then it was once a week, and then it turned into a daily occurrence.”

Frederick County saw its highest number of alcohol and drug overdose deaths since 2007 in 2013 at 37 reported deaths, according to the report. The county also reported the sixth-highest number of alcohol- and drug-related deaths among Maryland counties, with Baltimore city and Baltimore County leading at 246 and 144 deaths, respectively.

“It's not just a drug issue we're facing, but overdose and deaths we're facing,” Brown said at the meeting.

Maryland also saw the largest number of alcohol and drug overdose deaths since 2007 with 858 reported deaths in 2013, according to the report.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene releases annual reports on alcohol- and drug-related deaths across the state, categorizing data by county, age, ethnicity and gender. The largest percentage of people who died from alcohol and drugs in the entire state were between the ages 45 and 54, according to the report.

However, the largest percentage of people who died from a heroin overdose in 2012 and 2013 fell into the age groups 25-34 and 45-54.

“Heroin is unique,” Brown said. “It doesn't have an age group, class, or economic group it's specific to.”

Gov. Martin O'Malley founded the Overdose Prevention Council on Thursday to combat the rising number of overdoses in Maryland, hoping to reduce overdose deaths by 20 percent by 2015, according to a news release.

“This campaign is aimed at family, friends and community members,” Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, the secretary of health and mental hygiene, said in a news release. “Being able to identify and quickly respond to an overdose by dialing 9-1-1 and administering naloxone, if trained, will save lives.”

Naloxone, a drug that can be injected or administered via nose, immediately negates the effects of an opioid drug such as heroin. At the June 17 meeting, Frederick Police Chief Thomas Ledwell said it was a "de-high" for heroin users.

The department is training a certain number of officers to carry naloxone, Ledwell said.

Frederick County also had the fifth-highest number of prescription opioid-related overdose deaths in Maryland in 2013, tying with Prince George's and Harford counties at 14.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has launched a public education campaign to raise statewide awareness of opioid overdoses through in-person training, distribution of overdose tool kits and educating residents at community meetings, according to the news release.

Follow Paige Jones on Twitter: @paigeleejones.

(41) comments

Extra Ignored

The consequences of alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco abuse weren't known at the time the substances came into common use.

Legalizing a substance with known health risks is just ignorance.

You don't need a needle to take heroin. Patients died from spinal mold infections from drugs produced under FDA supervision. What conditions is your heroin supply produced under.

DebtFree

Caffeine, alcohol and tobacco are gateway drugs beloved by Americans.

Fredmd21704

that is just stupid.

DebtFree

I've previously ripped Jenkins in past about the heroin tsunami during his watch in Frederick County Now I want to apologize after reviewing statistics from other MD counties Frederick County actually fares much better in heroin deaths per capita.

jmufb_49

And all of these folks started off smoking pot. Now the idiot Gov want's to legalize the gateway drug for profit.

fredneckian

Yeah, pot is to blame for heroin. Like Santa Clause is to blame for the easter bunny.

Thank goodness only safe drugs like alcohol and tobacco are allowed by the govt, right?![wink]

CRACKER_LEE

Where can people get free needles so they can shoot up safely?

Fredmd21704

And why not? Tax it 100% if you are stupid enough to smoke it.

skjer531

how many deaths from tabacco? from drinking and driving,how many from guns?how many from talking on cell phones while driving?

averagejoe33

they probably did post that information because it didn't go up two and a half times as much as the year before

Fredmd21704

[thumbdown]

averagejoe33

[thumbup]

BronxBomber23

Sheriff Jenkins: you have my vote. GO CHUCK!!!!!!

Rockfish

Would be if the article shared statewide data. How do we know how well or well not Frederick is doing without comparison to other jurisdictions? I think the statewide data would show deaths are up all across the state.

Top Dog

Why not national data?

rederickfrisbee

Why not international?

Top Dog

You are correct, sir.

abcxyz24681012

Of those who have died, were any of them addicted to heroin before they used heroin for the first time? I think not.

Thinkbig

Keeping our constitutional rights in mind and the limitations that this puts on law-enforcement, how exactly is the sheriffs office supposed to lower heroin use other then by arresting users and sending them to prison? It is idiotic to blame the sheriff for somebody choosing to inject themselves with heroin.

averagejoe33

you do real police work and bust dealers instead of out of state druggy's here and there

DaveSM

The insensitive self righteous comments of the comments on this article demonstrate the sad state of the Human Heart!

dejaview55

I guess you would know,dsm.

DaveSM

But do you know that you know there, vic

Top Dog

Children, children, behave.[ohmy]

DaveSM

You are correct. Lets settle this with a round of Putt Putt golf.

dejaview55

Karl Bickel has advocated for the use Narcan for years to save peoples lives. The insensitive self righteous comments on this article demonstrate the sad state of the Human Heart! tommyboy,politicizing this issue is SICK,you must be a good Christian!BTW, if the Sheriff's Department was on the ball they would have had Narcan! Thank the Republican Sheriff! My turn!

averagejoe33

yes because party affiliation has sooo much to do with not seeing eye to eye with the heroin problem

tomgeiser

The Democrat controlled State Police gave up and pulled their drug unit out of Frederick County, BUT WE CAN'T BLAME THEM FOR ANY OF THIS CAN WE????

averagejoe33

another deputy commenting on the FNP^^^ shouldn't you be at work ???

rederickfrisbee

They need the MSP to do their jobs so they can focus on the important things like protecting the fair and part time security jobs. [beam]

Fredmd21704

The MSP protects the fair? [thumbdown]

rederickfrisbee

No the FCSO does, the MSP actually does police work.

notfromaroundthesehereparts

Someone choosing to stick a dirty needle in their veins and shoot up heroin along with only god knows what is not a tragedy. The only thing people should be outraged over is the waste of taxpayer money spent on tracking and "combatting" this. If a person is stupid and weak enough to use heroin knowing it's a death sentence, be it in 5 years or 5 seconds, then it's just strengthening the gene pool which is never a bad thing. Comparing junkies to the men who fought and died at Benghazi is asinine.

CRACKER_LEE

[thumbup]

armillary

Four die in Benghazi. Some are outraged at government ineptitude.

Last year there were 21 heroin-related deaths in Frederick County. Where's the outrage?

The voters sure love our sheriff.

ortensia

The President, Hillary et al knew from the beginning it was a terrorist attack, but the election was 8 weeks away, so they lied about the cause. They lied from the beginning and continued with the absurd video story, lying to the aggrieved parents as the caskets returned.

Not a "smidgen" of transparency, honesty or honor.

The majority of heroin in the US originates in Mexico, as well as most cocaine (90%) both powder and crack, methamphetamines and marijuana. Sheriff Jenkins opposes the open borders that have opened drug-smuggling floodgates.

Border agents also report finding numerous prayer rugs in the desert; add terrorists to the drugs, crime, disease, and massive tax burden gaining entry via our unprotected southern border.

Looks like the Sheriff understands the connection and takes his job seriously.

skjer531

prove it

Fredmd21704

[thumbdown]

armillary

Heroin deaths are sky high
but our sheriff's a mighty nice guy
our sheriff's a peach
and he's easy to reach
if your kid's the next one to die.

Fredmd21704

[thumbdown]

averagejoe33

pigs are out ^^^

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