Pubdate: [Tue, 01 Apr 1997] Source: Star Ledger (NJ) Author: Peter B. Bloch Lisa Peterson's article, "Heroin hitches a ride to suburbia," uses emergency room overdose statistics to show that there is a growth of heroin addiction in suburbia. She is to be congratulated for her careful research and thoughtful writing. We need to realize that, despite decades of a "war on drugs," serious drug abuse is growing. I suggest that the root of the problem is spiritual. It comes from the prevalence of impoverished hearts, both in the inner cities and in suburbia. The true root of the drug problem lies in valuelessness and materialism. The drug problem will be addressed effectively when we realize that our brothers and sisters are so important to us that we reach out to those in trouble. Reaching out will benefit all of us, especially those who do the reaching, I know this from my work in prison ministry and with the homeless. When we begin reaching out more frequently, we will begin to see a society in which drugs are less necessary. We will be walking our talk. Our answer will be in prayerful service to one another. There is no way to solve this problem by force. Peter B. Bloch Silver Spring, Md.