Share Your I-STOP Story

New York's prescription drug abuse crisis has reached epidemic proportions. Against a backdrop of escalating violence, addiction, and trafficking, the number of prescriptions for narcotic painkillers has increased by six million in recent years - from 16.6 million in 2007 to nearly 22.5 million in 2010. To Address this crisis, Attorney General Schneiderman has proposed the "Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act," or I-STOP -legislation that creates a real-time, online database for doctors and pharmacists to report and track the prescribing and the dispensing of certain controlled substances.

Now we want to hear from you. If you, or someone you know has been affected by the growing prescription drug abuse epidemic, share your story in the space below. You will put a human face on the prescription drug crisis, and help ensure that I-STOP becomes law.

It's time to show lawmakers where the people of New York stand.

Teri Kroll, Copiague, NY

My son, Tim, was 19 and had suffered with severe headaches for four years when we were told there was a doctor who could help us. Because of Tim’s age, I was not an integral part of the medical care he was receiving. If only I could go back and sit in the doctor’s office with Tim as I did when he was a child. It turns out the “doctor” started Tim on a course of Oxycodone that would ultimately take over his life. We had no way to know how much was too much. Of course, we know now that Oxycodone is a narcotic; a drug that must be monitored. We know that now because as a result of Tim’s visit with that doctor, we became parents of a drug addict. (more)

Annie P., Hicksville, NY

I feel it is important for I-STOP to be put into action ASAP. My daughter, Danielle, is an addict. Even though heroin was her drug of choice, she would also pop lots of RX pills to get through a day. Fortunately she hit her rock bottom and has now been in recovery for over 9 months. Addicts are amazingly manipulative, and very good actors. They will find ways around the system - if they are desperate enough - especially a system with so many loop holes. (more)

Avi Israel, Buffalo, NY

My name is Avi Israel, my son Michel David Israel committed suicide on June 4th, 2011. Michael took his life, in our home, less than 20 feet away from my wife and me. I lost my son because of a flawed health care system in this state. Michael was an extremely outgoing bright kid, who excelled in school, and was a very artistically talented person who was a pleasure to be around. (more)

Dora Sosnowik, Oceanside, NY

I am a recent pharmacy school graduate who has been practicing for a little over a year. I work in a pharmacy that specializes in pain management. Every day I see many patients in legitimate pain with legitimate diagnoses in need of pharmaceutical intervention. Unfortunately, I also see many patients who do not have legitimate reasons to be filling controlled substance prescriptions.(more)

Robert J. Fortuna, MD, MPH, Rochester, NY

The abuse of prescription drugs by adolescents and young adults has surpassed all illicit drugs except marijuana in the United States. The prescribing of pain medications to young adults has doubled in the past decade. Overall, an opioid or other controlled medication is prescribed at approximately 1 of every 6 health care visits by young adults. Despite the increase in prescribing of opioids, physicians and other health care providers lack the tools necessary to adequately track these prescriptions. (more)

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