Department of Health & Mental Hygine: increase in overdose deaths this year


According to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, from January to June of this year in Maryland there were 920 deaths related to overdoses. They said it’s 319 more deaths than this point last year. 

A local mother recalls the day her son lost his battle to addiction.

“It was a hard day. It was a very involved day, and Sean turned 23 on the 14th. You always think you have another day,” said Beth Schmidt, a Carroll County resident.

Schmidt’s son, Sean, passed-away due to an overdose two days after his 23rd birthday back in 2013.

“I can tell you that at 4:34 that afternoon, I had the worst feeling I’ve ever had in my entire life. I will never forget it, and don’t ever want to feel it again. I’m convinced that’s the time he bought his fatal dose, or the time that he took it. I’m not sure,” added Schmidt.

Then there’s Carin Miller’s son, Lucas, who has been in recovery for two years in Colorado.

“I didn’t know he was going down this dark ugly path. He was so sick; he was grey, he was frail and this was my beautiful kindhearted, loving, smart, wonderful son. I didn’t even know who he was anymore,” said Mount Airy resident Carin Miller.

Miller’s husband is currently fighting an opioid addiction as well. She said it started when he was prescribed pain medication after a car accident, back in the late 90’s.

“That started an eight year Percocet prescription addiction. It progressed slowly at first but then it progressed, and it was tearing apart our marriage and our family. He’s currently been on Suboxone for the last six years. Unfortunately, he’s addicted to that now,” added Miller.

Both mothers have experienced opioid addiction first hand through their family members, and have come together to spread awareness.

That’s why they are both a part of the Maryland Heroin Awareness Advocates.

“We work together with our health departments, law enforcement and we help people get into treatment. We do a lot throughout the community,” said Miller.

Miller said that the Maryland Heroin Awareness Advocates consists of 27 mothers. She said that some of them have already lost their children to addiction, and are now motivated to spread awareness throughout the state.

Both Miller and Schmidt are also a part of the Maryland Coalition of Families. They help run the substance abuse disorder program.

To learn more about the Maryland Heroin Awareness Advocates, click the link below:

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