Schumer Calls For Push Against Prescription Pill Abuse

Oct 23, 2013

Credit onpoint.wbur.org

The Upstate New York Poison Center reports prescription drug abuse increases 100-percent every year.

Senator Charles Schumer talked about those numbers when he stopped in Rochester on Wednesday to push for the Drug Enforcement Agency to amend regulations and allow local pharmacies to hold prescription drug “take-back” events.

Schumer says he also wants the DEA to establish "buy-back" programs. He says this way federal dollars could be used to encourage people to drop off their old medications. Schumer says the regulation change doesn't require legislation.

"This could greatly reduce the scourge of prescription drug abuse among our young people. Because if  the pills are no longer on the shelves, 70 percent of all the kids who got addicted wouldn't."

Currently, pharmacies and drug stores can't hold prescription drug take-back or buyback events because the Drug Enforcement Agency runs them.

The Monroe County Crime Lab seized nearly 32,000 tablets of controlled substances between 2009 and 2012.