Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh has issued an executive order declaring heroin use a public health emergency in the county. As reported in The Capital Gazette, the announcement was made at noon Tuesday at the Anne Arundel County Medical Center.
Schuh discussed the pending announcement and battles Anne Arundel County is facing with heroin at the BWI Business Partnership meeting last week. As reported in The Baltimore Sun:
“It’s not like it was back in the old days. That drug is not just sort of in pockets in the gritty urban neighborhoods in minority communities,” Schuh told the BWI Business Partnership.
It’s everywhere, it’s north, south, east, west … you name, it’s there. It’s every racial type, every income level. It’s absolutely everywhere. And it’s going to get worse if we don’t go after it in a very serious way.”
In the first 26 weeks of 2014, there were 26 heroin-related deaths in the county, more than half of the total in all of 2013.
“There is now a fatality a week from heroin in Anne Arundel County,” Schuh said.
Two weeks ago Schuh formed a Heroin Task Force that includes officials from the police, fire and health departments, Social Services, the Sheriff’s department, the State’s Attorney’s Office, and other county and City of Annapolis agencies.
The task force is working on recommendations, but there is no date for when they will be presented to Schuh.