On Thursday, the Reflector reported on an effort by the city and Fisher-Titus Medical Center to help arm parents in the battle of keeping their kids drug free.
Over the summer, nearly 100 Norwalk parents have taken up the offer of free drug test kits and we hope more will follow suit.
Mayor Sue Lesch says the drug problem among young people in Norwalk is alarming, and it's not limited to marijuana, which many people simply shrug off. According to the mayor, heroin is quickly gaining popularity in our community and that's cause for concern if not downright alarm.
Heroin is a particularly insidious narcotic that can immediately cause addiction, with users becoming slaves to the drug. Heroin addiction is a very destructive disease that lives, destroying families and careers and taking over people's lives.
"Parents have to understand that this is happening to us," Lesch said at Tuesday's city council meeting. "It will be eye-opening to people."
Distribution of the drug tests is being privately funded, with FTMC donating the first 100 tests. Another donor has stepped forward, the mayor said, but more support is needed for the program and we encourage any company with an interest in reducing drug use in our community to pony up. Contact the mayor's office if you are interested in helping fund the $11 test kits.
An information campaign is being undertaken and two educational meetings focusing on our growing drug problem will be held for parents Sept. 24 and 27 at Norwalk and St. Paul high schools.
Our country has been fighting the war on drugs for a generation, with little to show for it. The ineffective measures of national efforts to combat drug use are many and the subject for another editorial. Still, when the problem is hitting this close to home, a concerned community has to do something. We believe the information campaign, access to test kits and life skills training in the local schools can be effective and we laud the efforts of all involved.