Opioid abuse in Montgomery County is “an equal opportunity” menace that has hit “businessmen, professionals, schoolteachers, nurses” and so many others, said Alejandra Munoz, the sole case manager for a County program aimed at getting drug users into treatment rather than a jail cell.
“I have middle to upper class [people] and those with low social economic status. I have two grandmothers,” she said of the users she tries to get into the program called STEER, which stands for Stop, Triage, Engage, Educate and Rehabilitate.
Opioid-related overdoses are increasing rapidly here. Last year, there were 154 nonfatal opioid-related overdoses, a whopping 175 percent increase from 2015. During that same period, there were 56 fatal overdoses, a 9 percent increase between 2015 and 2016, according to Cpt. Paul Liquorie, director of the County Police Department’s Special Investigations Division.