Schumer Calls For Tighter Regs On Hydrocodone

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Efforts to rein in the abuse of prescription drugs are applauded by the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Council of Jefferson County.

"We certainly applaud any move that wold take hydrocodone, or the flood of hydrocodone off the streets, out of the hands of people who may be using them non-medically," said the council's Anita Seefried-Brown.

Sen. Charles Schumer is urging the Food and Drug Administration to put tighter controls on the painkiller hydrocodone.

An expert panel of doctors and scientists have already recommended categorizing the drug as one with a higher risk of abuse and addiction.

That would make the drug harder to get.

"It would immediately restrict the quantity of pills that a physician can prescribe," Seefried-Brown said.

"There can be no refills," she said. "Each time that the prescription has to be refilled, a new prescription has to be written out, which means that the patient has to come back into the doctor's office."

Schumer calls hydrocodone one of the most prescribed and abused drugs in upstate New York.

Prescription drug abuse in general is a problem.

In 2011, more than 1,000 cases of prescription drug abuse were reported in the north country.

But because hydrocodone is often used appropriately for pain relief, Schumer says it will be important to strike the right balance between allowing access for patients and preventing the drug from getting into the wrong hands.

Monday, September 22, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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