New kinds of medication-assisted treatment offer the greatest hope for moving people who are addicted to heroin and other opioids to long-term sobriety.

Relapse rates for opioid addicts are as high as 90 percent. Combined with counseling and therapy, however, drugs such as Suboxone, which alleviate painful withdrawal systems and cravings, decrease relapse rates to 30 percent or less during the critical first year of recovery.

“Medication-assisted treatment is not just a best practice — it’s the standard of care in opioid addiction,” Orman Hall, director of Gov. John Kasich’s Opiate Action Team, told The Blade’s editorial page. “It shouldn’t be forced on anyone, but it should be an option for everyone.”

Sadly, though, Suboxone is available to only a fraction of the people who need it. Scoring heroin in this state is easier than getting effective treatment.

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