The addiction to prescription drugs is at an all-time high and now Mayor Bloomberg is cracking down hard on this new epidemic.
Bloomberg formed a task force last year to combat the issue with the intention of preventing unnecessary deaths and drug addictions. The situation is very serious and according to Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan, “One person dies of a painkiller overdose every 13 days” in his borough. The city health commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley, attests that each year painkiller prescriptions are written for 25% of the city’s population and that 75% of abusers feed their habit by sneaking pills unnoticed from friends and family members.
Dr. Lewis Nelson of NYU Medical Center claims that hospitals throughout the city have been prescribing excessive supplies of the medications post-emergency room visits. He states that for most cases of mild or non-life-threatening pain a prescription for two or three days is all that is necessary, as opposed to the current standard of writing a seven-day note. Other concerns include violence and the fact that the city does not have control over non-municipal hospitals and their restrictions.
Now in Bloomberg's new policy, emergency rooms in the city’s eleven public hospitals will only be able to give out prescriptions for three days’ worth of Vicodin, Oxycontin and similar drugs. Other medical facilities however are beginning to follow suit.
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