Harford County Officials Briefed on Heroin, Zika, Public Health Indicators

Harford County Health Officer Susan Kelly briefed the County Council on heroin, zika, and other public health indicators impacting county residents.

As reported in The Baltimore Sun:

As of May 9, 84 people in Harford had overdosed on heroin, 10 of them fatally, according to the Harford County Sheriff’s Office.

“We will never arrest our way out of it,” McMahan said.

Kelly agreed, adding: “I think the community is starting to realize that you cannot lock people away and throw away the key. It’s a public health issue.”

She brought up the use of Vivitrol, a once-monthly, non-addictive treatment for opioid or alcohol dependence, as a significant new initiative being used in the county’s Detention Center.

The county’s rates of youth who smoke cigarettes, e-cigarettes, binge drink, use marijuana or report suicidal thoughts are higher than the state average, Kelly said.

The number of drug-related or alcohol-related intoxication deaths rose by 39 percent in Harford between 2007 and 2014, while only rising by 27 percent in the state as a whole.

The rates of youth injecting illegal drugs is lower than the state average, however, and physical activity among young people is also better than the numbers statewide.

For more information read the full article in The Baltimore Sun.