The painkiller OxyContin is a form of oxycodone designed to...

The painkiller OxyContin is a form of oxycodone designed to provide a slow release over 12 hours. (Jan. 29, 2009) Credit: Newscom

Why do politicians want to dictate the way health care providers practice to try to curb drug abuse ["NY Legislature OKs painkiller crackdown," News, June 12]?

Why does society continue to cater to drug addicts? Why give them power by having us all adapt to them? There has been drug abuse forever, and abusers will always find ways to get around the system. There was cold medicine abuse that led to law-abiding citizens being required to request cold medicine at the pharmacy, and sign a form if they were buying more than one.

Lawmakers are complicating the busy schedules of health care providers. Hydrocodone and oxycodone are good medications when prescribed for those who need them.

Lawmakers do not know the complexities of treating people or the time constraints. Instead of mandating this tremendous change and putting a supposed feather in their caps for New York, legislators should stick to what they know.

If certain providers are writing too many prescriptions in large numbers, then they should be questioned. It shouldn't affect all of us or change our practice.

There will always be another drug, legal or illegal, that addicts will seek.

Carol Caico, Seaford

Editor's note: The writer is a nurse practitioner.

The proposed system for tracking and controlling painkillers seems to do little to prevent abuse. It will still require doctors to fight with drug-craving patients by limiting their prescriptions. Druggists with large supplies will still be targets, and the state will still be responsible for monitoring and punishing offenders.

Here's a suggested solution: The patient would receive a prescription from a doctor and go to a local pharmacy to have it filled. The pharmacy would then check a registry, and if there is no excessive use, the patient could be given a two-day supply of the medication.

The pharmacist would then electronically forward the remaining order to the drug company or distributor, which would mail the remaining prescription overnight to the patient's residence. The drug company or distributor would be in charge of the required records.

This process would reduce the doctor's fighting with patients, eliminate the need for large supplies at pharmacies and centralize the monitoring of use.

Joseph Ameres, Middle Island

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