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Our View: Be part of solution in fight against heroin

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

When a new task force was created in the spring to combat heroin use in McHenry County, we said it was a step in the right direction.

We also said that the solution falls on the community.

Wednesday night is another step in the right direction when a community forum about heroin is held at McHenry County College.

The forum, titled “Heroin: A Community’s Response to a Community’s Crisis,” will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in the auditorium. The McHenry County Sheriff’s Department, the Mental Health Board, Northwest Community Counseling, and other local agencies are taking part. The forum will discuss the prevalence of heroin in McHenry County and how the community plans to respond.

Since the implementation of the Heroin Education/Enforcement Action Taskforce, the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department has made 31 heroin-related arrests. Those arrests have seized more than 64 grams of heroin and $2,300.

“I think we’ve just hit the tip of the iceberg,” McHenry County Undersheriff Andrew Zinke said. “There’s a lot more to do. It’s about leadership and communication. And we have great leaders across the board.”

According to Zinke, local schools, the Regional Office of Education and local police departments have worked together to combat heroin use.

That’s the kind of community effort a battle as big as this one requires, if not more. Education is vitally important in combatting heroin use. If people understand the dangers of heroin, the demand diminishes.

Real people telling real stories of heroin abuse can have a real impact.

Wednesday night’s forum offers the platform to share your story. It also offers you the chance to listen and ask questions. Or an opportunity to share ideas.

If heroin use in McHenry County is a concern to you, we encourage you to attend Wednesday night’s forum.

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