Law enforcement officials, including those involved in last week's drug roundup in Warren County, will tell you that more than three dozen arrests will not stop illegal drug use in Warren County.
It will make a dent, perhaps, but only a dent. Perhaps only a dimple.
There was a time when the naive among us believed that rampant drug abuse was an inner city problem, a problem among only certain races or economic backgrounds, or only among the young. It is none of those things exclusively.
It is as much a rural problem as an urban problem. It cuts across socio-economic distinctions, and it involves young and old.
Thirty-nine alleged drug users and dealers were taken into custody in one morning of coordinated arrests. We would wager there are far more than that number still in business.
But, they should know this: If you don't either kill yourself or someone else with your wares, there is a good chance you'll ultimately be caught and sent to prison. We don't mind the expense of your incarceration, because the expense of your freedom is so much greater in terms of human suffering.
We applaud the Warren County Drug Task Force and all of the independent law enforcement agencies who worked together to accomplish Thursday's sweep. It was a job well done.
The fruits of their 18-month investigation and careful planning are clear evidence to those drug dealers still operating that Warren County is serious about cleaning up its drug problem and is willing to use patience and dilligence to attack it.