Posted at: 09/16/2013 3:16 PM
| Updated at: 09/16/2013 5:02 PM
By: Bill Lambdin
TROY - Used as prescribed, prescription drugs prolong life and help deal with conditions that might otherwise cause suffering or surgery.
But all too often, the drugs aren't being used properly.
"Kids are now bringing drugs to what they're calling pharma parties," said Rensselaer County Executive Kathy Jimino. "You've probably seen it on the news. They're mixing up the drugs and they're taking whatever handful they come out with to get high."
Burglars are breaking in, not to snatch the silverware, but to purloin pills.
"We have one individual in the south end of the county that has admitted to over a dozen burglaries," said Rensselaer County District Attorney Rich McNally. "Another individual blew his brains out in front of the police. He was involved with prescription drug abuse, so it's a real problem."
Current federal regulations bar local pharmacies and other well-intentioned organizations from putting together drug giveback programs. They want people to be permitted to bring in leftover drugs, rather than leave them lying around to be stolen or misused, or thrown away, often in a method that puts them back into the environment.
Sen. Charles Schumer says the problem is federal foot dragging on changing the rules.
"The DEA say they're considering those reforms," Schumer said. "Guess what. They've been considering them since 2009. So really why I'm here is to give a little bit of a pleasant shove to the DEA and say do it already."