Hundreds of parents packed into a volunteer firehouse in southern Maryland Friday night to learn about a growing statewide threat: Deaths from heroin overdoses are on the rise.
Six months ago, Terri Haffer lost her son to a heroin overdose. She’s sharing her story to save other parents from the same heartbreak.
“Just don’t pick it up and use it,” she said. “Say no, because it’ll kill you.”
Volunteer firefighter Steven Haffer, 22, started abusing painkillers after losing his girlfriend.
“His girlfriend was killed in a car accident three years ago, and he was a first-responder to the car accident,” Terri Haffer said. “He went to pills for pain, painkillers, to relieve the pain.”
Eventually, Steven Haffer got clean, but six months ago in Ocean City, Md., he overdosed on heroin. He died after 10 days in a coma.
“There was just nothing that anybody could do to keep him alive,” his mother said.
She broke down in tears as she shared her story at the first-ever drug summit in St. Mary’s County Friday night. The event was organized to alert parents to the increasing threat of pill and heroin and abuse.
Seven people died of heroin or prescription drug overdoses in St. Mary’s County last year. So far this year, three people have died after injecting heroin.
“It’s about educating parents, their children, understanding what the resources are, the treatments available, and educating people to make good choices,” St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron said.
Haffer hopes other parents will learn the warning signs their children are using heroin.