HARFORD COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — September is National Recovery Month, and Harford County is looking to raise awareness about drug and alcohol addiction and how those who are struggling can get help.

Officials said drug overdose fatalities in the county are down around ten percent from last year, which they attribute to investments in addiction services.

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Shawn Partain, a mother in long-term recovery, knows firsthand the struggles of overcoming addiction.

“I was struggling to get up and take care of my son in the morning and my life was dictated by getting up and using,” she said.

Partain overcame her addiction to heroin and other substances. She sought treatment in Harford County after struggling for years.

“I needed some kind of outside people to help me see that the life I was living wasn’t suitable and wasn’t what I thought it was,” she said.

Now she’s a peer recovery specialist for the county’s health department, working with pregnant women and mothers who are fighting their own battles with addiction.

“I was really good at it. I think that a lot of people get burnt out, but I was able to take care of myself and in my recovery then also be able to give to others at the same time,” Partain said.

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It’s important to talk about addiction because of the stigma surrounding it and to raise awareness of available services, she said.

The county has been trying to do just that.

“We’ve spent and raised over $2 million in getting folks to treatment, working with some of our community advocates to find treatment for folks,” said Harford County Executive Barry Glassman.

As part of their efforts, the county has been connecting residents with addiction treatment services, invested in a crisis center and put a focus on getting the word out about treatment and recovery.

They also made a video for National Recovery Month.

For more information about the county’s addiction and recovery resources, visit the health department’s website or the county’s website.

Those needing behavioral, mental health and addiction services can also go to:

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The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center
24/7 Hotline 1-800-639-8783
Walk-in location: 802 Baltimore Pike, Bel Air

Stetson Miller