Lycoming County Judge Marc F. Lovecchio, speaking at a panel discussion last week on the perils of heroin, was talking about how the addiction and ultimate price for it can start so innocently.
A prescription for a bad back grows into a need for medication which evolves into opiates and heroin and, eventually, overdose and death.
The chain of events and fatal scenario described by the judge did not involve situations like the five he had one morning last week, each started with prescription drug abuse.
The overwhelmingly sad spiral to death was experienced by the judge's brother.
The judge's brother was one of six kids growing up in a good family full of college graduates with high honors.
The judge's heartbreaking story points out the two elements that make the heroin problem ravaging the area and the nation especially lethal. The entrance to the heroin addiction often starts with something as simple as a prescription from a doctor for pain. The pills can be found in most family medicine cabinets.
And those afflicted by the heroin addiction don't fit any one profile. Heroin addiction hurts well-raised people as well as those who have had no advantages growing up. It hits teens and it hits middle-aged, career-minded types. It is not native to just poor or just rich people.
It doesn't distinguish among races, political beliefs or behaviorial patterns.
Heroin just doesn't care.
That's why the effort going on right now to create a community safety net that wards off the ravages of heroin addiction is so important and needs your support.
Heroin doesn't care. So we better if we want to preserve the vitality of our community.