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OpinionLetters

Letter: Drug addicts need help, not prison

A heroin addict injects a heroin shot in

A heroin addict injects a heroin shot in a room, at the Konsumraume (consumption room) in Berlin. (Nov. 5, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty Images

I was very angry to read about Bradley Bender’s prison sentence [“Prison for ex-pol,” News, June 25] for selling oxycodone.

The former Southampton Town councilman admits to having “suffered with addiction” since he was 14. It appears he was selling drugs to feed his own habit so he wouldn’t suffer a horrific withdrawal from opiates. I’m not saying this excuses him, but prison will not help Bender overcome his addiction; he needs long-term treatment. Addiction is a very much misunderstood chronic brain disease, and if not treated properly, can lead to criminal behavior and possibly death. These people are not criminals; they are sick and need help. If everyone who suffered an addiction got proper treatment, we could probably cut our police force in half.

Robin Tierney, Massapequa

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