Heroin use is an epidemic not just seen in large urban cores of America, but is also a scourge in America's heartland, leaving a wake of chaos and destruction in small communities.

Heroin use is an epidemic not just seen in large urban cores of America, but is also a scourge in America's heartland, leaving a wake of chaos and destruction in small communities.

Hannibal is no different.

Law enforcement has seen a rash of heroin-related overdoses in recent years, devastating families and uprooting lives of children.

But treatment is sometimes hard to come by, inefficient or too costly.

Jailed offenders are sometimes right back to using once out of prison.

The cycle continues.

This Courier-Post in-depth report focuses on Hannibal's Heroin Homefront. In this four-part multimedia series, we examine the victims of heroin use, the immediate efforts to curb a rise in use and sales, how children found in heroin-riddled environments fare and what options exist for long-term treatment.

As Angela Akridge, the mother of a heroin overdose victim said, the community needs to engage in dialogue about heroin and the effects it can have.

Here is a breakdown of the series:

Part One:
Who are the victims of heroin addictions and how they should be remembered
Letter to the editor: Profiting from an easy job
How does a drug associated with cities end up in small towns? 
From Hannibal to to Hungtinton, W.Va.: 4 hours in a heroin-riddled city

Part Two:
What is being done on the front lines to stop the spread of the heroin epidemic
More on Narcan — an opioid antidote
State pursues antidote to opioid overdoses

Part Three:
What happens to the most innocent victims, children, when heroin comes homes
Chasing the Dragon
Effects of heroin use on newborn babies
Ohio county offers immunity to those turning in deadly drugs

Part Four:
Why long-term treatment locally can, but doesn’t always, work
Beating addiction: Beverly Collier's story
Resources for addicts
Editorial: What needs to happen now to stop heroin