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.