BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The FDA is urging for tighter regulations on painkillers. It’s a front page story on most newspapers and websites Friday. It’s something a local man has been fighting for two years, since his son who was addicted to pills, killed himself.
This could lead to a huge policy shift. It’s the New York Times top story Friday morning, and for Avi Israel it’s been his top priority since his son committed suicide.
Avi Israel got emotional reacting to the FDA’s recommendations that would put tighter controls on how doctors prescribe some of the most commonly used painkillers.
Israel said, “I’m going from one emotion to another. I’m smiling in one moment and crying in the next.”
Israel’s son Michael killed himself two years ago when he became addicted to the hydrocodone pills he was prescribed for his disease. Since then, Israel has led a crusade, helping to get the I STOP law passed, which created an online database to allow doctors to cross check each other and make sure patients are not being over-prescribed medications.
He pushed for the current public awareness campaign, which includes those billboards that say “Painkillers kill more than pain.”
Israel said, “Most people don’t realize how addicting hydrocodone is. It has the same qualities as pure heroin and oxycodone.”
When the news broke Thursday, I got a call from Israel. He said New York State already has tighter control of hydrocodone, and now the FDA wants to country to follow suit.
The next step for Israel is taking care of the addicts. He says we need more rehab centers in western New York.
“We have only two detox facilities from Rochester to Pennsylvania.” Israel said, “We need to take care of the youth and we need to educate.”
The tighter controls could go into effect as early as next year according to some reports. Basically moving hydrocodone from a schedule three to schedule two, would limit the number of pills someone gets and also, you couldn’t get a refill. These changes are already in effect in New York State.
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