Delaware officials in New Castle County say heroin abuse has reached epidemic proportions, and they’ve set aside a signficant chunk of change to fight it.
On Thursday, leaders revealed the Heroin Trap campaign, a program that will feature television and bus advertisements as well as an interactive website. County officials plan to spend about $500,000 on the educational campaign in the coming year.
The effort targets teenagers, particularly suburban teenagers. Officials say dwindling access to perscription painkillers has pushed many teens toward heroin, which is cheaper, easier to obtain, and notoriously addictive.
“We’ve educated our kids about seat belts. We’ve educated our kids about alcohol. Nobody wants to talk about heroin because it’s a dirty little secret,” said Colonel E.M. Setting, the county’s chief of police.
Setting said the money is only guaranteed for a year, but that he’ll fight for sustained funds.
“I’ll stop asking for money when I stop going to the suburbs of Hockessin and New Castle County to pick up dead bodies,” Setting said.
For more on this subject and a broader look at heroin in Delaware, tune in to First on WHYY at 5:30 on Friday, March 20.