A new report conducted by the New York City Health Department reveals the number of opioid painkiller prescriptions is steadily on the rise, with more than 2 million prescriptions filed in 2010, a 22 percent jump from 2008.
Amazingly, only 15 percent of NYC health care providers are responsible for 82 percent of prescriptions filed in 2010, raising serious concerns over proper education and communication between practitioners contributing to the epidemic-like addiction sweeping both the city and nationwide.
City health commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley commented on the disconcerting 15 percent, "I’m sure that the vast majority of these doctors are acting in ways they see as compassionate and appropriate, but they may not be fully aware of the risks, and so we’re trying to draw attention to the problem and make them be more careful."
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has been pushing for increased awareness around the severe consequences to liberally prescribing oxycodone drugs including popular painkillers OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin.
Among the most grave of consequences include overdose and violence sparked by addicts desperate for access to the drugs.
In April, an attempted robbery in East Harlem led to a violent shootout that ended with the armed suspect killed by a retired policeman nearby. The suspect was said to be responsible for similar robberies around the city.
Last summer, a tragic, execution-style shooting occurred when a addicted couple attempted to rob a drug-store in Long Island, killing two pharmacy workers and two customers.