As Heroin Use Grows On LI, So Does Waitlist For Methadone

Apr 5, 2016

A container of used needles to exchange for new in Camden, N.J.
Credit Mel Evans / AP

The Suffolk County Department of Health says the waitlist for its four methadone clinics continues to grow as more people are abusing heroin and other opiates.

The department started the waitlist a year ago in response to what they’re calling a heroin epidemic.

Today the county’s four clinics are at capacity, serving 1,100 people, and 200 others are on the methadone waitlist.

Suffolk health officials say it could take weeks or months to get into treatment.

Meanwhile, Nassau County health officials say there has been an increased demand for treatment at its East Meadow clinic that treats about 540 people.

Experts warn that delays in getting into treatment hurt the chances of recovery for addicts, and could contribute to overdoses.

Methadone is prescribed by a physician to opioid addicts to prevent withdrawal symptoms.