NY Health Department receiving funds to combat prescription drug overdose and abuse

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The New York State Department of Health (DOH) is receiving almost $1 million in federal funds to combat prescription drug overdose and abuse.

The DOH says the ultimate goal is to reduce the rate of opioid abuse, increase substance abuse treatment and lower the drug overdose rate for all types of opioids, including heroin.

The funding will be supplementally dispensed over the course of three years from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Prescription opioid addiction and the overdose deaths that have resulted from this epidemic are a major public health problem that needs urgent attention,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker. “These funds will enable the state to develop the programs and policies we need to put an end to this scourge.”

In addition, the NYSDOH’s Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement will work to improve the state Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PMP) by:

  • Working to integrate the PMP directly with patient electronic health records. Since 1972, New York has had a PMP, which contains data on all Schedule II, III, IV and V controlled substance prescriptions dispensed by State-licensed pharmacies and dispensing practitioners;
  • Developing app-like functions for providers using portable devices such as smartphones and tablets;
  • Using data collected from the PMP to conduct public health surveillance to help improve outreach efforts.

The health department says New York has one of the lowest rates of opioid deaths in the nation.

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