Playing politics with methadone

To the editor:

One of the critical issues in the treatment of people with substance abuse that needs to be addressed is the lack of availability of methadone. Because of the monopoly regulations for government approved programs, the majority of heroin addicts in this country have no access to this treatment and the community-based physician is essentially precluded from this field of medicine.

There is no justification for the Draconian restrictions on a treatment that will get addicts off heroin and allow them to live productive lives. Every addict should have the ability to receive methadone and any other medication accepted by the FDA as safe and effective from his or her personal physician.

This is a human rights issue and one that must be resolved, not only for those who need care, but for the entire community. After all, in the last analysis all of society bears the cost of untreated addiction.

Marcia Lawrence Soltes Lenox