Heroin Related Deaths Bring Community Concerns

Heroin Related Deaths Bring Community Concerns

Officials in Frederick County, Maryland say heroin use is on the rise and families in the community came out Saturday for a bike ride to raise awareness about the drug. So far this weekend, Frederick police arrested three people they say were in possession on heroin. WHAG’s Shayna Halper has more on what the community is doing to keep people from turning to drugs.

FREDERICK, Md. - Members of the community are working together in the fight against heroin. Parents say children as young as in middle school are being subjected to the drug, and they don't want to see another family lose a loved one. Bikers against heroin came together to raise awareness and send the message home.

“Keep our kids out of coffins my son died January 16, 2013 sent me into the worst tailspin I've ever been in,” says Kathy Richison of Frederick, MD.

Richison says she’s doing what she can to help other families hoping they won’t have to experience the pain of burying a child. The group came out to ride in support of Kathy, and others who are dealing with heroin and drug addictions.

“It's the sigma they're embarrassed to go get help and I just needed to get the word out. There's so many parents that are loosing children, my children's friends, I mean my friends children's. it's just an epidemic right now,” says Doris Monath of Frederick, MD.

“It's the drug of choice in this county and in Washington County, and it only takes one time to be addicted, and it’s extremely difficult to get off of,” says Becky Campbell of The Wells

Saturday’s ride raised money to support The Wells House in Hagerstown and Project Hope in Thurmont.

According to Project Hope, nine students from Catoctin High School have died from drug or alcohol related deaths in less than four years. The latest reports from the Health Department show the number of people in Maryland who died from heroin related deaths last year was up by more than 50 percent from 2011.

Richison says she did whatever she could to help her son Jesse, and now she’s trying to help others.“I feel good I tried everything I could try I wish there was something else I could do but I did everything I could do, There's other kids there's so much heroin around here it's just ridiculous, ridiculous,” says Richison.

The Frederick Police department says between 2010 and 2011 they seized 110 percent more heroin then in previous years and that they saw another 11 percent increase from 2011 to 2012. They do say the numbers this year are on track with those of the last few years.

Anyone looking for more information or help can find out more from The Wells House at


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