What the Daily Herald addressed more than a decade ago as a "Hidden Scourge" is hidden no more. In the years since our first series of extensive reports on the effects of heroin on lives in the suburbs, the deadly addiction has grown relentlessly more visible.
Last year, it was the focus of an alarm sounded by the coroner of DuPage County as he watched deaths mount to record levels. While, farther away, it was the central villain in the highly publicized overdose death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Yet, while the threat of heroin may no longer be reduced to the shadows of suburban and national life, the depth and breadth of scourge, its full contours, remain to be outlined. The Associated Press series "Heroin Across America," which we present here, helps further define the shape of this epidemic.
But lest you think AP's stories involve people and places far distant from you or from suburban life, you'll do well to remember the extremely local tragedies heroin has been producing in the suburbs for years. The Daily Herald has chronicled that dimension of the problem in two separate series, comprising scores of stories and, for one entire year, profiles of every suburban victim to die from this epidemic. To remember and reflect, you can find some of those stories republished and linked here.
To see all the stories we've published concerning heroin, see our special page http://www.dailyherald.com/topics/heroin/