A presentation in Brewer Wednesday night will address the problem of addiction to drugs and the devastation it can cause, not only on the addict, but also their family and friends.

Brewer Police Captain Chris Martin chatted with me this week about the 'Heroin Alert' program planned for this Wednesday. It's being done in conjunction with a group from Delaware in order to educate community members about the 'demand' end of Maine's drug problem. He said that police work hard, locally, dealing with the 'supply' end, i.e. drug dealers, but he doesn't always feels that enough is done to help the addicts.

Guest Speaker at the event will be Marie Allen, who lost her daughter Erin to a heroin overdose.

"What the audience is going to hear is a mother's tale about her daughter's journey, the hopes and dreams that they had, and ultimately, her untimely death due to an untreated, unstopped addiction." Chris said. "This story is not unique. We can simply change the names and it can happen anywhere in the country to anybody."

Chris told me that Maine loses one person every 40 hours to a drug overdose death. Let that statistic sink in. If my calculations are correct, that's 4 people every week. 16 people every month. Something has to be done to stop this.

So Chris says he hopes they have a good turnout on Wednesday night. The 'Heroin Alert' program starts at 6:30 in the Performing Arts Center at the Brewer Community School and should last about two hours. There's no need to preregister and it's free to get in. Marie Allen will be selling copies of her book, detailing her story, for $5. Martin says the cost of bringing the program to Maine is funded by forfeited money from drug investigations.

He says parents are encouraged to bring their middle or high school-aged children. In addition, they're hoping for educators, business owners, and anyone who is interested in learning more about the problem of addiction. Finally, Chris says, he hopes when the program is done, people will ask 'How can I help?'