In "Heroin measures don't go far enough" [Opinion, June 27], the writer highlights some glaring needs in the package of bills approved by the State Legislature.
An additional problem in the sober-home industry is that most of the residents are no longer coming from inpatient treatment, which over four weeks increases motivation and commitment to recovery. Instead, many are coming from detox or the street, with a questionable commitment to abstinence. This places others in the therapeutic milieu of the residences in jeopardy.
This speaks to the lack of authorizations for inpatient treatment with the potential impact of the recent health insurance law changes an unknown entity. In addition, still missing and consistently overlooked are the lack of recovery supports after treatment.
Individuals begin to rehabilitate in treatment, yet they recover in the community. Long Island sorely needs a recovery center; let's continue the job that has been started by encouraging our lawmakers to invest in recovery community organizations.
Folks in early recovery can secure supports and work closely with peers to reduce relapse while dramatically improving the chances of lasting recovery. Recovery centers are largely peer-driven, accommodate family members and serve as clearing houses for related needs, services and referrals.
The recent legislative package will have a significantly greater impact if we are able to add such supports.
Richard Buckman, Dix Hills
Editor's note: The writer is the president of the Long Island Recovery Association, which advocates for people affected by alcoholism and drug dependence.
Belmont could add Park & Ride lot
The inadequate Long Island Rail Road facilities at the Belmont Park Station raises the question as to why the station and track parking lot are not utilized as a Park & Ride ["LIRR looking to cut Belmont days," News, June 24].
It's an excellent location, midway between the Northern State and Southern State parkways. There are three tracks that could have platform access: the Oyster Bay, Ronkonkoma and Port Jefferson branches. Yes, LIRR officials admit the platforms need upgrading, but that's easy: fix 'em!
If 5,000 to 15,000 commuters were charged $5 to park and were assured an express ride into the city, I believe it would be an instant success. The commuters would save on fuel and parking in the city, and the racetrack could divide the parking fees.
James P. Kelly, Huntington
Editor's note: The writer is an adjunct professor of political science at St. Joseph's College in Patchogue.
More cameras, fences along turnpike
As a person who works along Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow, delivering for UPS, I see what happens there every day ["Pedestrian deaths on Hempstead Tpke.," Letters, June 30].
Drivers run red lights where there are no red-light cameras. They are talking and texting on their cellphones. It's no wonder you put your life on the line when you attempt to cross the turnpike.
But, more police presence would deter speeders, texting and and even jay-walking. It's worth a try, before someone else gets killed.
Vince Iovino, Valley Stream
I read that the state Department of Transportation is spending $2.2 million to make Hempstead Turnpike safer, including wider crosswalks ["Turnpike safety everyone's job," Editorial, June 24].
I've seen many people crossing the street in the middle and not using the crosswalk. I've seen people dragging their feet and getting in the way of traffic.
Two things would help: have police ticket jay-walkers and install fencing along the center median, like near Nassau University Medical Center. The tickets would bring in money for the county, too.
Thomas Henry, Farmingdale
Don't blame Cheney for al-Qaida
A recent letter writer blamed former Vice President Dick Cheney for not capturing Osama bin Laden, which would have "taken the air out of al-Qaida, and all of its offshoots that developed in Africa, South Asia and the Middle East" ["Chutzpah award for former VP Cheney," June 29].
Former CIA Director George Tenet claims that the U.S. intelligence community had bin Laden in its sites many times after the bombing of the USS Cole and the first attack on the World Trade Center, and former President Bill Clinton refused to allow him to be assassinated. Clinton has denied Tenet's version of events.
If we are to believe that capturing or killing bin Laden would have taken the air out of al-Qaida, then it would be fair to assume that had Clinton taken bin Laden out of the picture back then, thousands of innocent civilians and American soldiers would still be alive.
By the way, bin Laden has been dead for more than three years, and I don't see al-Qaida being deflated. In fact, the organization seems stronger and more determined than ever.
Thomas Duignan, West Islip