In Harford County, Maryland, the number of opioid-related deaths increased between 2015 and 2016 by 66 percent. Like many other counties around the country, heroin addiction in Harford County is a serious problem that continues to prove difficult to manage from both healthcare and law enforcement perspectives. Yet, a cursory look at the opioid problem will reveal that drug addiction is an historic U.S. problem, and it has its roots in the American Civil War.

Medical Innovation and Heroin Addiction in Harford County

Morphine—it’s a drug of remarkable duality. On the one hand, morphine is an angel and on the other, a devil. The invention of the hypodermic needle enabled Civil War surgeons and doctors to treat wounded soldiers more effectively during and after surgeries. Morphine is still used today to treat serious pain, and few drugs are as effective for that purpose. The downside of morphine is its addictive nature.

Opioids are incredibly addictive; a mere few uses may be enough to trigger dependency. Scholars believe that the invention of the hypodermic needle made treatment with morphine more widespread, and while there’s little doubt that the wounds soldiers endured required pain treatment, few medical professionals realized the risks that accompanied morphine use.

The Soldier’s Disease

Many soldiers left the battlefield with “the soldier’s disease.” This disease actually describes what we refer to today as addiction. Many soldiers who were treated with morphine became addicted to it. For doctors, morphine was a wonder drug. For manufacturers of tonics and cure-alls, it was a financial boon. During the late nineteenth century, morphine and opium powders were added to a wide array of these tonics that promised to cure a staggering range of ills. Though they may, indeed, have decreased pain, they led to serious addiction. By 1895, the Smithsonian Magazine reports that roughly one in 200 were addicted.

From the Civil War on, the country has been battling heroin and other opioids. Fortunately, there is a way for individuals to win this battle. Treatment with The Bergand Group helps individuals learn to manage their substance addiction and achieve long-term recovery. Without treatment, the risks to mental and physical health remain serious, even life-threatening. If you have an addiction or drug abuse problem, seek help at The Bergand Group right away.

Anyone seeking to end heroin addiction in Harford County should contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others who are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction treatment and recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.


About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.