Unfortunately, news of the heroin epidemic on the Island is an all-too-familiar story for most of us [“Suffolk first in heroin deaths,” News, April 10]. Our neighbors, sons, daughters and friends have all been exposed to this insidious and heartbreaking phenomenon. I’m grateful to see recent articles highlighting possible solutions.

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As a social work student at LIU Post, I know that creating space for inpatient drug treatment in our state-owned psychiatric centers is a great first step [“Call for heroin aid,” News, April 11]. More needs to be done, though. Data from the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services show that 85 percent of detoxification in New York State is done in hospitals, which means high costs. New outpatient programs could reduce the wait time and offer an alternative for people facing detox.

Nicholas DiPietro, North Bellmore