By Linda L. Esterson, photography by Nikola Tzenov
HOW THREE LOCAL FAMILIES CHOSE A PATH OF HELPING OTHERS TO HEAL FROM THE TRAUMA OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND ADDICTION.
Thirty-two people overdosed, four fatally, in Carroll County in July this year. One-third of the overdoses were attributed to fentanyl.
According to the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department’s Overdose Investigative Summary Report, as of Aug. 1, there have been 122 accidental overdoses, 42 suicide attempts and 32 fatalities over the same time. Sixty-seven overdoses were attributed to fentanyl, 37 to prescription medications and another 44 to unknown drugs. The good news is that the Maryland Opioid Operational Command Center reported a 7.3% decrease in fatal overdoses in Carroll County in the 12 months ending in April 2022 as compared to the previous year. The obvious bad news is that people are still overdosing and people are still dying.
But there is hope.
Living among us are people who have survived the devastation of substance abuse, either personally or as a family member, and have committed to fighting addiction head-on. They have endured the unimaginable and have chosen a path to help others. Focused on education and guidance, the three stories that follow detail the work of individuals who devote each day to helping others in their recovery from substance abuse…