Lawmakers introduce bill to tighten rules on hydrocodone

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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 10:23 pm | Updated: 9:09 pm, Thu Apr 18, 2013.

SARASOTA - New legislation was introduced Wednesday to help fight the prescription pill abuse problem in the country.

Suncoast Congressman Vern Buchanan is one of several lawmakers from both sides of the aisle hoping to approve the Safe Prescribing Act of 2013. The bill would reclassify hydrocodone painkillers, such as Vicodin and Lortab, from Schedule III to Schedule II controlled substances to accurately reflect their high potential for addiction and abuse.

"Too many of our loved ones are dying every day from prescription drug overdoses and are abusing hydrocodone painkillers for non-medical purposes," said Buchanan.

The restrictions on prescribing and using Schedule III drugs are much less stringent than those for Schedule II products. Under Schedule II, a written prescription would be required in order to receive hydrocodone painkillers except in cases of emergency. Pharmacists would require patients to present an original prescription for refills, and traffickers would be subject to harsher fines and penalties.

"This is not the silver bullet for this epidemic. There are other things that need to take place, but it's a really important first step," said Ruth Lyerly. Lyerly, a Manatee County resident, lost her son to prescription drug abuse.

"Thousands upon thousands of pills are on the streets everyday and being sold. There needs to be some control over these highly addictive drugs," said Lyerly.

Cindy Harney of Sarasota echos Lyerly's words. Her son also passed away due to prescription drug abuse.

"This gives us the hope that another family does not have to go through what ours have gone through," said Harney.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • tim posted at 11:00 am on Thu, Mar 21, 2013.

    tim Posts: 106

    more big-gov, drug-war idiocy.

  • BillieRaven posted at 1:31 am on Thu, Mar 21, 2013.

    BillieRaven Posts: 2

    It is my opinion that lawmakers, law and law enforcement should bring more focus on the doctors writing these prescriptions. What these pills are doing to people is physically making them dependant on the drugs, therefore causing people to overuse and ultimatly obtain the pills by other means. Who suffers the consecquences of the dependancy? The community, and the patient, who sought the care of a physician. Instead of fixing the problem a person has, they have masked the condition by creating a new conditon...ADDICTION. After the addiction has been created, lawmakers now want to refine how these prescriptions are filled? If anyone knows anything about addiction, its a disease in itself, and then to become physcially dependant on a drug is a no win situation. I've been fornuate to never have the desire to take these pills, but i've watched many friends around me who are no longer the same. They are shells of the person they used to be and its like they are hyponotised into believing they need these pills. I've seen people come from a Dr. with 200 D's 120 Methadone, 120 Soma, and 90 Xanex and I think in my head even if they took their meds as perscribed how in the world are they to function? They we get involved in the go to jail for possession because your dopesick, therefore bannaing you from the right of any kind of job that will actually take you somewhere, you can't rent housing, therefore steering these people to continue selling pills on the streets. And the Doctors are sitting back in their fancy house because they were to lazy to actually do what they took an oath to do. Why not actually stop the pills from being prescribed? What did everyone with a back pain do 20 years ago? Im sick of watching my friends die and go to jail while doctors are cozy in their homes looking down at the people theyve ultimatly screwed up!!!


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