Tammy Broadhurts of Delmar saw it take form more times in her life than most.
“Of course addiction has been in my family since, since I can remember. My brother recently passed from a heroin addiction, my real father passed away in 1999 from a heroin overdose, so it’s just always been,” Tammy says.
Tammy’s brother Mike Sautter was only 38 years old when he died. Tammy says the on and off struggles with addiction would lead Mike to steal – even from his loved ones.
Mike’s loved ones highlighted addiction in his obituary with hopes of protecting another family from the pain.
Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis is one of many law enforcement officials bringing the heroin epidemic to the forefront. He too says no one is immune to addiction.
“I don’t care what socio-economic background you come from, how poor your family is, or how wealthy your family is,” Sheriff Lewis says. “I can tell you, drug addiction affects everyone. We have seen that time and time again, the wealthiest of our residents, to the poorest of our residents – it affects everyone. You cannot look at a book at all, and judge its cover.”
The heroin problem is so rampant here on Delmarva, that it’s being called an epidemic. It’s devastating effect on the community caught the attention of Governor Larry Hogan, who created a heroin and opiod emergency task force.
“I deal with grief-stricken parents every single day of my life who’s children are suffering from heroin addiction. It consumes the bulk of our time here at the sheriff’s office,” Sheriff Lewis says.
Sheriff Lewis says some of those families are working together to raise awareness through community events.