I am writing in response to recent letters about heroin addiction ["LI is sadly in denial about heroin use," March 19]. As the mother of an addict, I have been dealing with this problem for many years. One of the biggest problems is that there is no affordable care for middle-class families.

My son has been struggling with addiction for years. I have private insurance, and even though addiction is classified as a chronic brain disease, most of the needed care is not covered by insurance. To access good psychologists and psychiatrists, I have paid thousands of dollars out of pocket.

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When my son needed in-patient care, it was not covered by insurance. I have it in my policy, but the insurance company always finds a reason not to pay. I've had to take my son out of facilities because the care was too costly. I know that my tax dollars are paying for most of the other patients to be there. These facilities will say that they use a sliding scale, but all they look at is income. They do not take into account the high cost of living on Long Island.

Not only do the addicts need help, so do the families. The emotional impact is huge, and then we have to fight with the insurance company and the facilities. Who holds them accountable?

Patrice F. Armstrong, Rockville Centre