The front page of Newsday highlighted the growing heroin problem on Long Island ["Deadly turn to heroin," News, March 11]. It was noted that as a result of restrictions on prescribing opioid medication for pain, those addicted are turning to heroin, another form of the drug.

Opioid addiction is life-threatening because of the danger of an overdose and other risky behaviors that can be associated with drug-seeking.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

It's critically important that those suffering from addiction become aware of treatment, which includes medication to treat withdrawal symptoms and cravings. There are two commonly used drugs to treat opioid addiction: buprenorphine and methadone. The drugs can help the person suffering from addiction regain a sense of normalcy. Counseling and medication can help in recovery.

Addiction is a treatable disorder, and programs exist in most communities. The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services has a hotline: 877-8-HopeNY (877- 846-7369).

Patricia Hincken, Massapequa Park

Editor's note: The writer is the director of addiction recovery services at the Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks.