"I'm telling you that the most serious problem in Harford County today is drugs; it drives the crime and it's destroying our children," Bane said.
He went on to say that prescription drug abuse is a major part of that problem and impacts people from all walks of life.
An undercover drug investigation involving prescription medications ended in 14 arrests in April, and law enforcement, "ended up charging some people who you would never believe would be charged with a drug violation," Bane said.
Narcotics are easy to access, he said, especially when those prescribed the medications do not monitor or lock away the drugs.
"If you believe there are no drugs in your schools, you’re kidding yourself," Bane said, adding, "look in your medicine cabinet—that’s where they’re getting them from."
Bane said illegal drugs are also a contributing factor to the inmate population at the Harford County Detention Center.
"If we got a handle on the drug problem, half the people up here [in the center] wouldn’t need to be here," Bane said.
On any given day, between 50 and 60 percent of the detention center population is in custody because they are addicted to drugs, he said. Many may also have mental health issues.
"The jail is no longer a jail," Bane said, later adding, "We are a hospital, a detention facility and a psyche ward."
The sheriff's office, a number of county offices and interested parties are currently working together to help reduce the number of repeat offenders at the detention center. Addressing addiction issues is one part of that plan.