Forum in Dover Focuses on Heroin - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Forum in Dover Focuses on Heroin

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A drug baggie found in a lot in Dover. (Tom Lehman/WBOC) A drug baggie found in a lot in Dover. (Tom Lehman/WBOC)

DOVER, Del. -- A forum in Dover on Wednesday night focused on heroin and an epidemic of overdoses in the city.

The meeting, organized by Councilman Roy Sudler and featuring Lieutenant Gov. Elect Bethany Hall-Long, was intended to bring local, city, and state stakeholders together to discuss heroin and its effects. According to health officials, 228 people died from overdoses in Delaware in 2015, with heroin being the cause in the majority of those cases.

Sudler said he hoped the meeting would bring increased focus to the issue at a time when so many people are struggling with addiction.

"It seems like it has been put to the back burner, it seems like it has been under the surface," he said.

Charles Bows of Dover said many parts of the city struggle with open-air drug sales that involve heroin. He said it is destroying lives and communities.

"It's very sad. It's sad. There's a lot of young people, a few with mad skills with opportunities to do something, to be somebody," he said.

The issue of addiction is significant, said Alex Cropper, who manages the Connections Community Support Programs facility in Dover. He said hundreds of people visit their building each day seeking help, in many cases for withdrawal symptoms of heroin.

Although he said there are many success stories at Connections, Cropper noted it is always difficult for him and staff when the facility learns about a client who has relapsed or possibly overdosed.

"You hear that they've gone out an overdosed," he said. "That's a sad part for me and staff here."

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