I read with great disappointment your articles "Deadly turn to heroin" and "Antidote seen as lifesaving" [News, March 11].
My disappointment was not with the reporting, but because opiate and opioid substance abuse has not been sufficiently addressed by policy-makers. Greater numbers of heroin overdose deaths should not be a surprise, and can be expected to increase, if authorities are correct in their assessment that a dwindling supply of prescription pain medication, illegally obtained, is driving the switch to heroin.
Suffolk County Legis. Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) should be acknowledged for her efforts in bringing addiction to the attention of the public by introducing a bill to require the county health department to refer those treated with naloxone to addiction treatment centers.
In 1998, following an extraordinary increase in emergency medical responses to heroin overdoses, I was asked to speak at a local school district drug and alcohol awareness seminar. It is disappointing that after 15 years, no discernible progress seems to have been made.
Editor's note: The writer is the paramedic program director for the North Shore-LIJ Health Center's Emergency Medical Institute.