NYC Mayor Bloomberg Declares War on Prescription Drug Abuse

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg

NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg

NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg today announced a special task force dedicated to fighting New York’s prescription drug epidemic.  The announcement comes just one day after city officials identified 21 pharmacies that account for roughly 25% of New York’s oxycodone’s Medicaid reimbursements.

New York City has experienced a tenfold increase in prescription opioid use over the past two decades, with the number of related emergency room visits jumping 40% between 2004-2009.  In a statement to the press, Bloomberg said, “These drugs are being used to do more than just kill pain. They are being misprescribed and misused, resulting in addiction and overdoses.”

The task force, which will include health and law-enforcement officials, is expected to issue its first round of recommendations in January.   New York’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will provide guidelines for healthcare professionals on how to safely prescribe opioids, suggesting that for acute pain, a three-day supply is sufficient in most cases.

Source: The Partnership at drugfree.org

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