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New York Bill Would Tighten Controls on Hydrocodone


A bill introduced by a New York state senator would tighten controls on the opioid hydrocodone. The drug, a key ingredient in Vicodin and other painkillers, has been in the spotlight in the state since a Long Island man was accused of killing four people at a pharmacy in June in order to steal thousands of hydrocodone pills.

The Associated Press reports the bill would move hydrocodone from Schedule III of New York’s Controlled Substance Act to Schedule II, which is more restrictive. Punishments for possessing the drug without a prescription would increase, and patients would have to visit their doctor each time they needed a refill. Under current state law, doctors currently can prescribe up to five refills of hydrocodone.

Since 2009, hydrocodone has been the second most-abused drug, after oxycodone, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Under federal law, oxycodone drugs are classified as Schedule II, while hydrocodone drugs are considered Schedule III.

Currently, there is no minimum punishment for possessing hydrocodone without a prescription in New York, the article notes. A person who possesses two ounces or more can receive a maximum of 5 1/2 years in prison. Under the proposed legislation, a person could receive up to nine years in prison for possession of between a half-ounce and 4 ounces, three to 10 years for 4 to 8 ounces, and eight to 20 years for anything more than 8 ounces.

1 Response to this article

  1. Avatar of Chrissy
    Chrissy / January 26, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Once again someone ruined it for everyone who do NOT abuse but really need the medication for injuries. The guns and prescriptions r again put in wrong hands. I feel it may be a great thing to so call “control” medications but its making it harder for the ones in the health care field!! Forcing people to go the dr for each script is not going to cure the problem it will make it worse and make those people want it even more.

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