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