Star comment: Statistics show toll drugs take
We would be deluding ourselves to think that Shrosphire and Mid-Wales does not have a problem with drink and drugs.
The region very clearly harbours those who seek to profit from nefarious crimes and those who either use drugs socially or have difficulties controlling their intake.
And while some might hope that the illicit activities of drug-takers were somehow isolated from the rest of society; they never have been and never could be.
Drug taking is frequently associated with criminal behaviour and leads to the breakdowns of many marriages, families and friendships.
Worse, however, is the effect that drink and drugs have on the youngest in society.
Adults who are unable to moderate their intake of drink or who fall prey to problems of addiction all too often have a catastrophic effect on the lives of young and impressionable children.
New statistics show the devastating impact of drugs on the young with record numbers contacting the NSPCC to report concerns about the welfare of children.
Parental substance misuse is on the rise as disaffected sections of society seeks a new fix to block out the problems it cannot manage.
Drugs and drink are at the centre of many of our breakdowns in society. From fuelling crime to filling our hospital wards.
Now these figures show the extent of the issue on our younger generation – with addiction tearing apart families and putting young people at both physical and emotional risk.
Children deserve a safe and secure environment in which to grow up.
Social services often have a thankless task and the shocking new figures from the NSPCC show the extent of the problem.
Council employees and those who work for such organisations as CAFCAS have to mediate in disputes and make tough decisions on whether parents have the ability to just say no.
They have to put the well-being of children first, often making decisions that cause trauma, upset and family division.
Addiction crosses social boundaries. It is not an issue that is confined to a particular social class or a specific locale.
Joined up thinking by a range of agencies is required to combat the sickness of addiction.
It must look both at ways of turning people away from the wrong path while also providing support systems from victims who suffer from the fall out.
Drugs are just as likely to devastate rural communities as they are to harm people in cities.