Editorial: Community effort needed to fight heroin

Heroin destroys lives and has a lasting impact on the users’ families. This horrible drug is flowing into our region from Baltimore, and the numbers noted at the heroin “summit” held Wednesday in Front Royal are staggering:

• 20 area residents have died this year from heroin overdoses
• 100 non-fatal heroin overdoses have been recorded in our area
• 5 non-fatal heroin overdoses were reported during the week of Thanksgiving
• 89 heroin-related arrests have been made so far this year

A three-pronged approach — enforcement, treatment and prevention — to battle this problem is what’s needed, and that’s why Wednesday’s summit included around 80 law enforcement and medical personnel and educators.

The summit hosted Wednesday by the Northwest Regional Drug and Gang Task Force and the U.S. Attorney General’s Office for the Western District of Virginia and those planned in the future are a good step forward in sweeping this drug out of our valley.  We commend those involved in this battle and hope great ideas come out of these meetings. Lives depend on their efforts.