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Middle Peninsula community leaders talk about drug problem

About 100 Middle Peninsula-area sheriffs, commonwealth attorneys, county supervisors, community and state leaders gathered on Sept. 29 at Lebanon Baptist Church, Saluda, to begin a discussion on how to work together to combat the substance abuse epidemic that has been plaguing the area.

“It does indeed take the entire community to combat this,” said Brian Moran, Virginia’s Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, one of the guest speakers at the summit. Moran noted that the state had seen a decrease in every type of drug arrest, except for heroin, which has increased over recent years due to its affordability and accessibility.

According to Moran, the response to the issue must be through a health and human resources approach. “We cannot arrest our way out of this,” he said, reflecting on a statement a sheriff made to him the first day he was on the job.

Moran said Virginia has seen an overall decrease in inmate population, except for women. &l...

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