HEROIN USE has reached epidemic proportions. It has turned into a national problem.
The Ohio Valley is not exempt from the heroin issue. Local arrests linked to the drug have come at a feverish rate.
Moreover, a state Health Department report revealed a record 680 people died of heroin-related overdoses in 2012, a 60 percent increase over 2011. No data was available for 2013.
Heroin's troubling place in society has not gone unnoticed by our state's political leaders. Both Gov. John Kasich and Attorney General Mike DeWine made their feelings known at state forum this week.
Kasich and DeWine both agree that it takes a team effort to tackle the problem. They say parents, schools and educators are all vital in fighting the epidemic.
Kasich is right on when he says heroin has infiltrated every community. The drug is running rampant and wreaking havoc.
DeWine and Kasich touted the state's "Start Talking" anti-drug addiction program as a way to lessen the problem. It is a proactive program where parents, teachers and others talk to children about staying off drugs as a way of reducing the chances they will become addicted.
Educating youths about the pitfalls of heroin and all drugs mat not be a cure-all, but it will, we believe, steer many students away from drug usage. Rehab is a tough and not always a successful trip. Drug arrests, moreover, may only temporarily slow the problem.
Heroin is highly addictive. The only sure way to beat its deadly claws is abstinence. "Start Talking" is a vehicle that may keep our young people on a drug-free path.