FROM LONG ISLAND TO IRELAND EXPANSION OF TREATMENT IS NEEDED
The following Letters to the Editor by Dr. Newman was recently published
Addiction treatment delays are deplorable (Irish Examiner, August 4, 2009)
It is simply irrational to force those wanting to give up their illicit opiate habits to wait two years or more for treatment proven in Ireland and around the world to be enormously effective. Countries as divergent as Germany , Hong Kong, the US and, most recently, Iran and China have been able to achieve massive expansion of services almost from one year to the next.
The only prerequisite has been commitment.
It reflects a perverted sense of priorities when government agencies and committees debate strategies for increasing the "monitoring" of patients who, as you report, may have been in treatment 10 years or more, while continuing to ignore those who are being abandoned by shortsighted policies and practices that tolerate - indeed, ensure - multi-year waiting lists. Not only drug-users but the nation as a whole deserve better.
Robert Newman MD, MPH
Newsday --Letters to the editor, August 2, 2009
Get help for heroin Newsday reported in separate articles on July 24: "Drug deaths up in Nassau " and "Heroin fight: It's just 'everywhere'; 110 nabbed in coordinated raids over 4 months in Suffolk ."
Law enforcement efforts have never made a significant impact on use of heroin or the death rate with which it is associated. For decades it's been documented that heroin addiction is a medical condition that can be treated.
When is the last time anyone heard a public service announcement in Nassau or Suffolk urging those who desperately need help to get it? It is irresponsible - and inexcusable - that treatment services either are unavailable, or are being kept secret.