In 2012, the Ocean City, Md. Police Department arrested 26 people allegedly connected to a heroin distribution ring. The arrests exposed a widespread heroin problem on Maryland's Eastern Shore, a problem that addiction counselors and law enforcement officials were left scrambling to address.
In a special three-part series that aired in January and February 2013, WRAU's Coastal Connection looked closely at heroin abuse on the coast, speaking with a recovered addict, police officials, a prosecutor, and counselors working on the front lines of prevention. The series sought to highlight the difficulties of kicking an opiate addiction, and why heroin in particular had become a drug of choice among local residents. The series also exposed the connections between drug abuse and broader gang-related problems in some Eastern Shore communities.