If you live on Long Island, there’s a pretty good chance that you absolutely love drugs — and we’re not talking about weed, we’re talking about real drugs like heroin, Oxycontin, and other opiates.
In response to last year’s “Father’s Day Pharmacy Massacre” — during which a pill junky murdered four people while robbing prescription painkillers from a pharmacy in Medford — Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota yesterday released a 98-page grand jury report about drug use on Long Island…and it ain’t pretty.
According to the report, between 2006 and 2010, arrests for heroin possession has risen in Suffolk County by 170 percent, from 486 to 1,315. Additionally, Suffolk County has 70 percent more Oxycontin prescriptions than the average of any other state.
The report also finds that overdose victims with Oxycontin in their blood has risen 266 percent since 2004.Since 1996, the Suffolk County Drug Court program has seen a 1,136 percent increase in opioid pill abuse.
Clearly, there’s a bit of a drug problem on the Guyland — and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman thinks he has the solution.
We told you about Schneiderman’s I-STOP (Internet System for Over-Prescribing Act) program back in March. His plan would create an online database
for prescription drugs that he says will crack down on “doc-shopping”
and forged prescriptions by giving pharmacists the technology to track
prescription drugs in real time over the Internet.
He says a “real
time system to streamline communication between health care providers
and pharmacists” is essential to putting an end to prescription drug
“New York State’s prescription drug crisis has reached epidemic
proportions, and it’s time to take action before another tragedy
strikes. This report proves that we cannot afford to wait,” Schneiderman
says. “The law enforcement community, medical professionals and elected
officials on the ground – who see the devastation of this crisis
firsthand – stand united to protect our communities by supporting
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 25, 2012