Drug addiction impacts more than just users. It hurts friends, family and even the community itself.
Frequent complaints about the homeless in Mission are an example of that.
And while not every homeless person is an addict, evidence shows that many are.
So if addiction is a personal, family and community problem, it only makes sense that the community as a whole needs to get involved in finding solutions.
With that idea in mind, the District of Mission is planning to host a forum on addiction in February and will invite politicians, service groups and the public to come together and share their stories, ideas, solutions and treatments. All ideas are welcome.
The forum will not stop addiction, nor is it meant to, but it is a first step to try and get all parties to work together on a problem that has grown out of hand in communities everywhere.
While treatment is out there, many have no idea how to access it, or what form of treatment will help.
The city should be applauded for taking this step. Opening the door to educational opportunities is key in what will be a long, long fight.
Addiction will always be with us. The least we can do is be knowledgeable of what to look for, and ready and able to help.