SENATOR BALL AND SHERIFF SMITH ANNOUNCE INTERNET TRACKING SYSTEM TO FIGHT PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE
Brewster, N.Y. – 9/06/2013 – Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) Chairman of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee and Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith have announced that recently passed legislation aimed at curbing prescription drug abuse has now taken effect statewide.
The law has created a tracking system known as the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act, or “I-STOP”. The law has also modernized and improved the “real time” Prescription Monitoring Program that practitioners and pharmacists can securely and easily access, allowing them to view their patients’ controlled substance histories.
“This new legislation will be instrumental in our state’s fight against prescription drug abuse,” said Senator Greg Ball. “We have seen far too many families in our region affected by prescription drug overdose. This will now enable our state to better crack down on the illegal trafficking of painkillers and take a pro-active approach to fixing this problem.”
Across Putnam County and throughout New York State, prescription drug abuse has reached crisis proportions destroying young lives, harming local communities and creating a tremendous new burden for law enforcement.
A recent national study showed that prescription painkillers are now responsible for approximately 15,000 deaths and 475,000 emergency room visits a year, killing more people than car accidents.
“All too many tragedies have resulted from prescription drug overdoses and countless lives have been ruined by addiction to pain-killers. The new law will help fight that scourge. The provisions in the new law will enable law enforcers, medical providers and pharmacists to stem the abuse of prescription pain medications in our communities,” said Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith.
Locally, two families have founded ‘Drug Crisis In Our Backyard,’ an organization to promote awareness and provide resources and support to those individuals and their families affected by drug addiction. Susan along with her husband Steve Salomone founded the organization with Lou and Carol Christiansen after they lost their sons to a heroin overdose.
“We are encouraged by the I-STOP legislation for two reasons. The first being that doctors and patients are now being monitored, the second being the New York State legislature is acknowledging the opiate problem that exists,” said Susan Salomone. “I believe this is the tip of the iceberg but hopefully it will stem the tide of overdoses that are occurring currently in our communities.”
This important legislation includes the following:
· Creating a modernized and improved “real time” Prescription Monitoring Program that practitioners and pharmacists can securely and easily access, allowing them to view their patients’ controlled substance histories;
· Requiring e-prescribing, making New York a national leader by being one of the first states to move from paper prescriptions to a system mandating electronic prescribing;
· Updating controlled substance schedules to align New York’s Controlled Substances Act with Federal Law and changing the schedules for hydrocodone compounds and tramadol to reduce abuse;
· Enhancing the Prescription Pain Medication Awareness Program to educate the public and health care practitioners about the risks associated with prescribing and taking controlled substance pain medications; and
· Establishing a Safe Disposal Program to increase the options available to safely dispose of unused controlled substances and prevent people who abuse prescription painkillers from obtaining them from friends or relatives.
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