Pittsville Residents Discuss Opioid Addiction in Community - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Pittsville Residents Discuss Opioid Addiction in Community

Posted: Jan 25, 2018 10:31 PM Updated:

PITTSVILLE, Md.- The Wicomico County Health Department is educating towns about the opioid crisis and how it is affecting the community. 

Starting in Salisbury and Hebron at the end of 2017, county officials visited Pittsville on Thursday night.  Health officials and Sheriff Mike Lewis were present to answer people's questions, but a surprise guest gave her perspective for those wanting to know more about addiction. 

Former addict Crystal Toomer is a member of the county's Community Outreach Addiction Team.  She's five-years sober and looking to make a difference for those trying to recover from addiction.  Toomer was able to offer up her experience to answer some of the questions about what drug addiction is like firsthand. 

"Unless they're ready, they're not gonna be clean. When I was ready, I did it," Toomer said. 

While statistics may be showing improvement for drug abuse in Wicomico County, Sheriff Lewis says there is still work to be done. 

"We're not out of the woods, by no stretch of the imagination are we out of the woods. We still experience heartache everyday," Lewis said. 

Lewis says 87 percent of all crime in Wicomico County is directly linked to drug addiction.  The Sheriff's Office overdose board shows five overdoses have happened thus far in 2018, one life has already been lost to drugs. 

"It's everywhere, none of us is immune from it," Lewis said. 

One way the state of Maryland is trying to combat the national epidemic, is by offering free Narcan training and kits.  An antidote Toomer says could help not only save a life, but convince an addict to get clean. 

"Narcan is giving you that time. You're not gonna die then. So you're getting that extra moment, that extra minute, that extra day to think about whether you want to be clean or not," Toomer said. 

Health officials say Narcan can only be effective when used on opioid overdoses specifically and can expire in roughly two years time. 

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