Dear Editor,

Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato has recently stepped up enforcement against heroin dealers due to New Jersey's heroin abuse epidemic and the growing number of fatal overdoses.

While I agree that something needs to be done, continuing with ineffective and counterproductive, "War on Drugs" style policies will sadly only ensnare addicts selling to support their own habits and young minorities who are far from the big fish in the drug world.

The only viable answer to the addiction problem is to legalize heroin possession and make heroin maintenance, with clean needles and medical supervision available to addicts through special clinics. This will put violent dealers out-of-business and reduce harm caused to users.

Ultimately, substance abuse is an issue of public health and personal choice. It can only be effectively dealt with through the healthcare system. Making felons out of people who aren't hurting anyone other than themselves is morally wrong.

Eric Hafner

Toms River