I agree with the State Legislature's focus on finding effective solutions to the heroin epidemic ["Albany acts on heroin crisis," News, June 19].

An important solution that was not mentioned is an increased investment in prevention, especially among our young people. The state spends as little as $1,375 per student to fund a good after-school program for a whole school year -- and it could cost almost that much to put that student into an inpatient rehab facility for a single day.

Involvement in after-school and summer programs has been shown to reduce students' risk of substance abuse. Not only is 3 to 6 p.m. the time of highest potential for children to engage in risky behavior if left unsupervised, but after-school programs also provide positive mentoring, which research shows is crucial for helping youth grow into healthy adults.

Keeping our kids away from heroin requires involving them in activities -- after school and during the summer -- and making sure they have dreams for the future that are bigger and better than what they are being told the drugs will give them.

Pat Boyle, Elmont

Editor's note: The writer is the executive director of Gateway Youth Outreach, which provides programs for children outside of school hours.
 

It's commendable that first responders will have naloxone, the antidote for heroin overdose ["LI police to get heroin antidote," News, June 18].

advertisement | advertise on newsday

But I have a question. Will they also carry EpiPens for severe allergic responses and anaphylaxis?

Several of my family members have nut allergies. One was recently sent to the hospital.

This suggestion merits serious consideration, especially given the unexplained rise in the number of children with allergies.

Maureen Baglio, North Bellmore