Kristine Lessard’s account of the tragic loss of her son to heroin [“This addiction doesn’t follow any rules,” Local Opinions, March 2] struck a deep chord with me, as my husband and I lost our son to a cocaine addiction several years ago. 

Subsequent letters to the editor have debated whether marijuana leads to more serious — and possibly fatal — drug addiction. I think the operative word is “addiction.” Addiction is a disease, and when there is a family history of addiction, the stakes are higher. In addition to family history, there are other factors. Age is one. Frequency of use, another. Impact on daily life, still another. It is not an either-or question.

We need to broaden the conversation to include these other factors, discussing them openly and honestly within our families and educating our children about all of them.  

Connie Maas, Silver Spring