For those residents viewing heroin as a big-city drug far removed from our relatively rural setting, the news of recent tells another tale.
The Department of Justice has identified a major heroin trafficking highway running between Williamsport and Philadelphia. Dealers are purchasing the drug in Philadelphia and selling it in Greater Williamsport area, Lock Haven and Wellsboro for twice the price.
Unfortunately, they've got a market of buyers, many of them very young. And history shows that once people get addicted to heroin, they don't kick the habit without a long road of professional help and difficult withdrawal. Even then, they are fighting the odds.
An extensive look at the local heroin market in the Sunday edition of the Sun-Gazette painted a scary tale heroin purchasers shooting up in parking lots moments after a purchase because they are so addicted, a broad-based clientele that crosses all demographics and a wide age group. About 85 percent of the Lycoming County Drug Court defendants are addicted to heroin.
The drug is overpowering. The circumstances of its purchase hard to disrupt. The availability for purchase growing more accessible everyday.
That's a tough combination to beat, especially for parents trying to keep kids from ruining their lives before they know any better.
And that's perhaps the only solution - knowing better.
It's not sexy, but the best preventative to any drug use, but especially a highly addictive drug such as heroin, is never getting involved in the drug in the first place. That takes, most importantly, parents teaching their kids right from wrong at a very young age and teaching them how to make correct decisions.
To parents of kids in our area, these drugs can ruin your child's future before it begins.
It's the best anti-drug medicine we know of.