Somerset Co. Health Officials Launch Opioid Misuse Prevention Ca - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Somerset Co. Health Officials Launch Opioid Misuse Prevention Campaign

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 WESTOVER, Md.- The number of cases of people struggling with addiction to opioids and heroin are on the rise in Somerset County and surrounding areas. Health leaders have launched a campaign to raise awareness about the problem. 

Health leaders on Wednesday unveiled the “Opioid Misuse Prevention Campaign”  inside the Community Conference Room at Somerset County's Behavioral Health building. The presentation revealed the campaign's logo, marketing components and information about the issue. The goal is to educate the community about the growing problem and to let people know help is available on the Lower Shore.

Robert Dempsey of Ocean City said his 24-year-old son, Sean, has been locked up for nearly two months for bad choices, stemming from a heroin addiction.

“I noticed something wasn't right about three years ago,” Dempsey said. “He told me he was dipping and dabbing into pills, but I knew it was more than pills; pills lead to heroin."

Walking up the steps to Dempsey's now empty apartment, where his son lived, is painful for him to think about. He recalls his son's once promising lifestyle and career. He said it did not take long to notice a hurtful change.

“Things started coming up missing; things changed around the house,” he said. “He lost his job. It just carried on and on until he finally got incarcerated."

Dempsey said his son's heroin addiction started with the mix of a bad crowd and prescription drugs. Dempsey said his heart continues to ache as his daughter, who is 27, is now struggling with an addiction to opioids.

"She lost her job, and she's going down the same path," he said.

Dempsey said campaigns like the one launched Wednesday are a step in the right direction to help prevent addictions.

“I think it's a great thing if everybody got together,” he said. “Pills, heroin, all that, it's an epidemic right now, especially here on the Shore." 

It is an epidemic the new campaign will try to change.

For addition information on Somerset County's efforts, visit somersethealth.org or call (443) 523-1790.
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