LINDENHURST - Prescription pain pills are a documented scourge on Long Island: dozens have died from overdoses, and countless residents have become hooked on them.
Abuse experts say the practice of so-called "doctor-shopping" is largely to blame. Painkiller addicts get prescriptions from as many doctors as they can and stockpile huge stashes of pills. For months, a bill that aims to curb doctor-shopping has been stalled in the state Legislature. Lawmakers have been unable to agree on what to do about the inefficient computer network that currently tracks prescriptions and patients. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wants to create a real-time database, called I-STOP, that doctors and pharmacists would be required to update for every patient who is prescribed certain pain medications. However, the state's powerful medical lobby is pushing back. Medical society officials say that while they favor I-STOP's goals, they're against a mandate that would legally require doctors to update the database. In the meantime, Long Islanders with loved ones who've fallen victim to pain pills are in limbo, hoping that lawmakers will address the problem soon.
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Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (LICADD) NYS Attorney General?s report on prescription drug abuse Medical Society of the State of New York State Sen. Kemp Hannon?s paper on the prescription drug crisisHeroinPrevention Task Force