I was very angry to read about Bradley Bender’s prison sentence [“Prison for ex-pol,” News, June 25] for selling oxycodone.

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The former Southampton Town councilman admits to having “suffered with addiction” since he was 14. It appears he was selling drugs to feed his own habit so he wouldn’t suffer a horrific withdrawal from opiates. I’m not saying this excuses him, but prison will not help Bender overcome his addiction; he needs long-term treatment. Addiction is a very much misunderstood chronic brain disease, and if not treated properly, can lead to criminal behavior and possibly death. These people are not criminals; they are sick and need help. If everyone who suffered an addiction got proper treatment, we could probably cut our police force in half.

Robin Tierney, Massapequa