New Legislation To Help Fight Prescription Drug Addiction

October 24, 2011 Updated Oct 24, 2011 at 8:43 PM EDT

By Lou Chilelli

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October 24, 2011 Updated Oct 24, 2011 at 8:43 PM EDT

TOWN OF WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WKBW) -- Prescription drugs getting into the wrong hands has become a major health problem. In 2009...prescription drug overdoses killed more people than heroin and cocaine overdoses. Two local legislators want the trend to end. The problem of prescription drug abuse has been mounting since the late 1990's.

"After the first time I tried it...looking back on it...I thought that it was, you know, the right thing to do. And, I didn't want to feel anything...I didn't want to feel what was going on in my life. So, I kept using it," said Samantha Riley, a recovering heroin addict and former prescription medication abuser.

Avi Israel's son committed suicide when he felt he was unable to get the proper help with the medications he had been prescribed for pain management. "Michael can't be here today, because he committed suicide, on June 4th of this year. Michael took his life 20 feet away from my wife and I. I lost my son, because of a flawed health care system in this state," Israel remarked.

New York State Senator Tim Kennedy has proposed new legislation...named in Michael's honor...to address the problem of prescription pain killer addiction. "The Michael David Israel Laws include: the Doctor's Training Law, the Patient Information Act, the Addiction Transition Law and the Controlled Substance Registry Reform Act," Kennedy explained.

Congressman Brian Higgins is a cosponsor of the National Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 2011.