Time and again, circuit judges throughout our coverage area have pointed out that substance abuse often plays a role in an offender's path down the road of crime.
It is not uncommon for a person needing drug money to be convicted of theft, nor is it unusual for someone to commit a violent act as the result of being under the influence of an illegal substance. Both of these exemplify how drugs are a problem for not only the user, but for society as a whole.
Led by Elkins resident Susie Mullens, the West Virginia Association of Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Counselors is traveling to Charleston next week to raise awareness to legislators about the impact of substance abuse. The group's presentation is likely to stand out in the state Capitol Rotunda. Bright red foam bricks will be stacked one on top of another to form a wall showing "concrete" evidence that drug and alcohol abuse affect us all. Agencies and organizations that work with prevention, treatment and support recovery also will display exhibits during the day.
It is easy for any of us to acknowledge that drug activity exists in our communities. It's only when we take action through education, prevention and treatment that any of these problems can begin to diminish. A handful of bills aimed at curbing drug use await lawmakers' discussion. It will be interesting to see if Mullens' group and others leave an impression that sparks a decision.