Pain Pill Limit Aims To Curb Abuse At ERs, Bloomberg Says
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The city is making it tougher to get painkillers from some emergency rooms.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Thursday that under new city policy emergency rooms at the city's 11 public hospitals will only be able to hand out prescriptions for three days worth of painkillers like Vicodin and Oxycontin.
The mayor says it's time to crack down on prescription drug abuse.
"We talk about other problems, we talk about narcotics but this is one of the things that is growing much more rapidly. Health surveys show more than a quarter million New Yorkers over the age of 12 report either misusing the opioid painkillers prescribed to them or abusing painkillers that haven't been prescribed to them," Bloomberg said.
Doctors outside the emergency room still have the discretion to give longer term painkiller prescriptions.
The city does not have the power to impose the guidelines at private hospitals, though several say they will adopt them voluntarily.