NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg Shows Tough Love as City Cracks Down on Painkiller Addiction
No pain, no gain, says New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as he backs an effort to end the city’s abuse of prescription painkillers. Bloomberg recently announced plans to curb the use of many common pain medications throughout 11 area emergency rooms by imposing tough, new restrictions. Bloomberg acknowledges the effort will hit some harder than others but says a little suffering may be necessary in order to achieve the greater good.
Getting the prescription drug epidemic under control has been the Mayor’s primary concern. Critics argue his plan will unfairly punish the poor, who tend to seek emergency room care in place of visiting a primary provider.
Mayor Bloomberg addressed the issue on his weekly radio syndication claiming there was no proof the measure would negatively impact the disadvantaged, including those without insurance. Regardless, he advised that temporary discomfort experienced by some would have to take a backseat to efforts at improving health for the majority. The reality, he says, is that people are dying from this.
An article outlined by Mail Online details some of the plan details: 1) public hospitals are only permitted to carry a three day’s supply of narcotics such as Percocet and Vicodin, 2) powerful opioid analgesics like OxyContin and methadone will no longer be distributed, and 3) no refills for lost or stolen prescriptions will be issued.
Mayor Bloomberg says the epidemic starts at home with leftover prescription drugs found in everyone’s medicine cabinets. Kids get their hands on these, and then they can be re-sold on the streets. The new legislation aims to limit excess supply that raises the temptation for later misappropriation.
Over-supply of prescription pain medications has also led to a rise in pharmacy-related violent crime by thieves who aim to steal the drugs. Figures show that over 250,000 New York residents age 13 and up are now addicted to painkillers.