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Drug problem won’t go away without focus

Drug abuse isn’t an epidemic that only affects the big cities. Addicts aren’t just found in the bad part of town. And it isn’t a problem that will simply go away if we bury our heads in the sand.

These will be some of the key messages organizers hope to drive home at a public drug awareness forum later this month, another key step that sends the message that our community will fight to be a better place and that everyone can make a difference.

Set for 6:30 p.m. Aug. 21 at Ohio University Southern’s Bowman Auditorium, the forum is hosted by the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office and the Lawrence Drug and Major Crimes Task Force.

A diverse group of speakers will provide a variety of information about the depth of the problem and what is being done to fight it. A variety of organizations with missions to help those who are addicted or the family members of those battling addiction.

Sadly, regardless of how important the topic, many public forums in Lawrence County are poorly attended and fail to spark the public involvement that is necessary for any community to better itself. Hopefully this time will be different.

As citizens, we can no longer delude ourselves that drugs are a problem for other communities or that law enforcement agencies can address them on their own.

It will take a concerted effort by everyone to stem the tide, but a good opportunity to start is just a few weeks away.