Despite hurdles, there's reason for optimism

In a recent article, law enforcement officials and addiction counselors told the Clarion that heroin has become the area’s largest problem drug. Heroin addiction has spread rapidly and crime because of, or as a result of the drug is up in the area.

That’s discouraging to read, especially considering heroin was not on our radar last year when synthetic designer drugs — those with names like “bath salts” and “plant food” that act like methamphetamine and cocaine — and prescription drug abuse were making headlines.

However a comment posted on our website made us think. The commenter reasoned that what was once a great community to live and raise a family in has now become the last place anyone would want to live because of local drug problems.

A stinging point, but we’d offer another perspective. Law enforcement has been working hard to snuff out the area’s drug problem and while progress is hard to see, it is happening.

Recently, a Las Vegas man who ran a drug ring that supplied the Peninsula with prescription drugs for abuse, namely Oxycodone, was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The rise of heroin use, law enforcement contends, is caused in part by the declining availability of other prescription opiates that have been the target of police crack downs like the newest busted drug ring.

So while you could find a reason to be discouraged about the community and its seemingly never ending drug use, perhaps there’s reason to be encouraged that law enforcement is making a difference on some fronts.

Sure, it may feel like snuffing out a small kitchen blaze when the roof is on fire, but we think there’s room for hope.

Where there is a demand, a supply will find a way in. As always education and communication are the best preventative steps and swift and strict punishment for criminals is a remedy. But the community simply can’t lose hope that progress is being made.

So we must keep educating youth about the dangers of drug addiction, help those who have fallen prey to drugs and encourage law enforcement to renew their efforts to stop the drugs from entering the community in the first place.

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