Bradley Breeden, a seventh-grader at Southampton Middle School, and his mother Sabrina Breeden spoke about drug abuse education in schools during the public comment period at the January 23 meeting of the Harford County Board of Education. They were accompanied by supporters who held up signs in remembrance of local young people who reportedly died of heroin overdose in December. The signs read: “Aylssa Whelan RIP, Jaime RIP, Jack Deckleman RIP and future children RIP.” Sabrina Breeden said later that the group plans to attend every county meeting and school board meeting and plans to appear in Annapolis to push for action on drug abuse prevention and awareness.
The text of Bradley and Sabrina Breeden’s public comments were provided to The Dagger for publication and appears below:
Hello my name is Bradley Breeden. I did not learn about the dangers of drugs from school or watching TV. I learned about drugs from watching my older brother suffer from addiction. The fact we are not teaching drug education and prevention in schools concerns me. I do not want to see other kids have to go through what I have gone through. Please put the drug programs back into schools so we can educate and teach the dangers of drug use and addiction. If you do not put the programs back I guarantee you will lose more students to drug overdoses. Thank you
Hello my name is Sabrina Breeden and I have a son who is an addict. The amount of young adults using in Harford County is increasing every day at an alarming rate. We need to become proactive, and step up as parents and as a community and educate our children about the dangers of drugs.
Last year Harford County had 35 drug related deaths, and although we only account for 5% percent of the Maryland population, we are coming in third for overdose deaths. Heroin overdoses have increased 21% compared to 2009 and more then 100% compared to 2001. What has changed? One thing is we no longer offer drug awareness and education in the schools. We have failed those kids that overdosed and died. Maybe if they would have known that only 3% of ex-heroin users are successful with staying clean and never using again.
Maybe if they knew it only takes one time for you to use heroin to die. Maybe if they knew how addictive heroin is then maybe they would have never tried it. Maybe if they knew 87,000 trips to the emergency room are heroin and morphine related. Maybe if they knew more people die from overdoses then in auto accidents. We need to be proactive, because doing nothing is not working for us!
The County Council has stated they have money slotted for drug prevention in our schools, why is the school board not utilizing those funds? I would like to ask that you bring drug awareness and education back in schools on behalf of the students we have already lost and the ones we would like to save.