Editor’s note: This is the final installment in a two-part series on prescription drug abuse in Chenango County and New York State. on Thursday, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer announced that legislation aimed at cracking down on the alarming epidemic, which Schumer called “a growing scourge in upstate new York,” had passed the senate judiciary committee.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Legislation aimed at toughening penalties associated with prescription drug abuse, cracking down on the illegal sale and possession of opiate-based, over-the-counter narcotics, and giving law enforcement new tools in the fight against what some are calling ‘a new drug epidemic’ cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday and is now on the Senate floor.
The SAFE DOSES Act, penned by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, would result in direct increases in sentences for robbing pharmacies of controlled substances, and create a new crime specifically for the theft of medical products, the fencing or illegal sale of medical products, and the transportation and storage of stolen medical products, according to a Schumer press release.
“This is a huge first step toward curbing the prescription drug epidemic that is sweeping across New York and the entire country,” said Schumer. “The SAFE DOSES Act will help ensure that prescription drugs like Oxycontin and Hydrocodone make it from the factory to the patient and nowhere else ... we need to give law enforcement the tools to fight back. I hope the Senate will move quickly to pass this bill so that we can make the fight against prescription drug abuse a fair one.”