Planning the Fight Against a Growing Drug Problem - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Planning the Fight Against a Growing Drug Problem

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md. - Local and state officials were joined by law enforcement and medical professionals Wednesday as Wicomico County unveiled its plan to combat the growing drug and overdose problem in the county.

The county sheriff has told WBOC that heroin has become the biggest drug in Wicomico County, overtaking prescription medications.  Thyse Musengwa works at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury and sees the impact of these drugs constantly.

"Every day we see people coming in.  Withdraw patients who are going through withdraw. And I see them at their very worst," said Musengwa.

Those experiences brought Musengwa to the roundtable discussion Wednesday at Wor-Wic Community College.  The main topic of conversations was the county's drug and overdose prevention plan.  It is a plan that calls for locating trends in drug use and problems, increasing availability to treatments for drug users, outreach to high risk people and new initiatives like a local overdose fatality review team.

"What we will be doing is taking a look at the medical examiner's reports on all of the overdoses that occur and gather community information surrounding these overdoses," said Lori Brewster, Wicomico County Health Officer.

Wicomico County isn't alone in the drug overdose issues.  Overdose deaths jumped from 663 to 761 from 2011 to 2012 in Maryland.  But it is up to each county to come up with their own plan and make a difference.  And Musengwa believes changes can only happen if everyone is involved.

"Everybody in the community should participate.  It is everybody's problem.  Somebody who is addicted will come in and break into my home, or your home or somebody else's home.  So it effects everyone and I think everyone should get their hands dirty and help solve this problem," Musengwa said.

The drug overdose prevention plan is being implemented immediately in the county.

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