Harford Holds Standing-Room-Only Heroin Epidemic Town Hall Meeting

Harford County held a town hall meeting on heroin abuse on Wednesday, September 9, 2015, which featured a standing-room-only crowd of community and government leaders, recovering addicts and everyone in between.

According to the Baltimore Sun,

The meeting room at Harford Community College’s Darlington Hall, which can hold 260 people, was packed with people expressing their determination to end a tide of heroin abuse that law enforcement officials say has claimed at least 21 lives in the county this year.

“We shouldn’t despair. We can defeat this as a community, and we can slay this Goliath, this dragon of heroin,” said County Executive Barry Glassman, who set the stage with a battle cry against the drug.

Having made the heroin fight a key focus for his administration, Glassman compared it Wednesday to David defeating the giant Goliath in the Bible.

As David killed the giant with five stones, Glassman said the county must use the five stones of education, treatment, enforcement and “two intangibles,” persistence and faith.

People in the community shared their emotional experiences, responses and ideas to help fight heroin.

Harford School Superintendent Barbara Canavan added her own war metaphor by highlighting the multi-pronged approach to fighting heroin talked about Wednesday.

“One general cannot win the war. We have to be all in this together and we have to be working together,” she said.

Glassman, meanwhile, got a round of applause for suggesting the real battlefield against drug abuse is at home.

He said nothing can substitute a mother and father talking with a child, “not a teacher, not a government program.”

To the parents in the audience, he said: “You have got to take ownership and do it also.”

Gahler said the HOPE work group will continue meeting and he urged the public to keep sending ideas for fighting heroin.

Read the full article on the town hall meeting in the Baltimore Sun.