Two recent deaths that made our news pages have been linked to drug and alcohol use.
A young woman who died in a local studio was stricken by a drug overdose, according to Lycoming County Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr.
A young man who died in a violent crash that ended in Lycoming Creek had a blood-alcohol level of .25 and marijuana in his system at the time of the fatal accident.
Unfortunately, these are not new stories. Actually, they are quite time-worn.
And that's the sad part. It seems we never learn. Excessive alcohol use and illegal drug use have been dangerous from the beginning.
There doesn't seem to be a way to stop a certain percentage of people from doing bad things to themselves via poor judgment or hopeless addiction to illegal drugs and/or alcohol.
The only things that can defend against these inevitabilities are things that many people make fun of - teaching kids at a very young age to just say no to excessive alcohol and illegal drug use, schooling them early on to choose friends carefully and showing the proper example.
It's pretty boring stuff.
But it works.
And hopefully, with summer here and temptation all around, some of those lessons are being taught right now.
It's never too early or too late to try to avoid the unthinkable tragedy of lives ended unnecessarily short.