Drugs are a scourge on society -- causing death in Southeast Missouri

Three area deaths this month appeared to be related to recreational narcotics usage and prompted local law enforcement agencies to issue a warning.

A man from Perryville and a woman from Jackson -- both in their 20s, according to a Jackson Police Department report -- died from an overdose. Meanwhile, a Sikeston woman died from an overdose in Mississippi County and another individual with her was recovering from an overdose, according to a recent story in the Sikeston Standard Democrat.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports the federal government is allowing states to use federal dollars originally designated to address the opioid crisis to help those dealing with meth and cocaine addictions.

"Meth and cocaine are making a comeback, and they are more potent than they were during the last wave," Mark Stringer, director of Missouri's Department of Mental Health, told the Associated Press.

Also according to the AP, about 68,000 people died in 2018 from drug overdoes in the United States. About two-thirds of these deaths involved opioids.

Yet another challenge in the drug market is the types of drugs available. Many opioids illegally sold are laced with deadly chemicals such as fentanyl.

Whether it's opioids or stimulants such as cocaine and meth, drugs are a scourge on society. They affect young and old. This is a reminder of how dangerous drug activity is, and adults should reinforce the message to young people about the importance of saying no to drugs. They should also say no themselves.