Oxycontin Prescriptions Rising Sharply in New York

Until now, oxycontin (oxycodone) abuse has been a phenomenon associated with states like Tennessee and West Virginia. But now, a new report shows that prescriptions for oxycontin, a highly addictive and frequently abused narcotic painkiller, are up by 82% in New York state. State attorney general Eric Schneiderman released the report to support his idea of establishing a statewide drug-tracking system.

In the area, oxycodone has been a big problem in Long Island, where there were 6 people killed last year in 2 different robberies (that’s a trend too – people are robbing for pills, not money). Inpatient oxycodone treatment programs continue to be in high demand, and a number of centers in Long Island (and elsewhere) have seen quite a few individuals come in for services.

According to the New York Times, there’s also been a sharp increase in hydrocodone (Vicodin) prescriptions, up 16.7% from 2007 to 2010.

If the state attorney general gets his way, there would be a new Internet-based tracking system that pharmacists would have to use to report sales of controlled substances. And Doctors would have to check a patient’s prescription history on the tracking system.

Pharmacists are outraged about the large and “ridiculous” fines they (and doctors) would face for ignoring the requirements: $500 for their first offense, $1,000 for a second offense, and $5,000 thereafter.

“Pharmacists don’t need further distractions.”, Craig Burridge, the executive director of a pharmacists society, told the New York Times. “Have they been behind the counter of a pharmacy?”

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