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Letter: Abuse will move to illegal drugs

A file photo of 80 mg pills of

A file photo of 80 mg pills of OxyContin. Photo Credit: Newsday, 2010 / Thomas A. Ferrara

Newsday coverage of the current crisis of prescription drug abuse is commendable ["Fight the new war on drugs," Editorial, July 23]. Policy change focused on prevention will help reduce the number of new users. However, not enough attention is focused on the need to treat those whose lives have become an unmanageable nightmare of sickness.

Addiction is a medical condition that affects the brain dramatically. Treatment options include therapies assisted by medications such as Suboxone, methadone and Buprenorphine. Detoxification and inpatient rehabilitation programs, as well as outpatient treatment, need to be available.

Without treatment, those suffering will turn to illicit drugs such as heroin when access to prescription drugs is reduced. The crisis for individuals, families and our communities will only deepen, with an increased loss of life, crime and personal tragedy.

Patricia Hincken, Hicksville

Editor's note: The writer is director of addiction recovery services for the Zucker Hillside Hospital in Queens.

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