As state lawmakers finalize legislation fighting opioid addiction, one health expert says it won’t be enough to combat this epidemic.
A study completed by the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency says that the number of heroin overdoses have been increasing over the past decade, while since 2012, overdoses for pain medications have declined.
Researchers believe there could be a correlation between the decreased supply of prescription opioids and an increase of heroin use.
With recent state legislation limiting the size of opioid prescriptions from 30 days to 7 days, some worry more addicts will turn to heroin.
One expert with FLHSA says more legislation will be needed in the years to come.
What is currently being discussed is what I would say is a stop gap measure, to try and decrease this, but that isn’t going to be the final solution,” said FLHSA chief medical officer Thomas Mahoney. “We need much more work to be dedicated to helping people who have ended up addicted, no matter how they got there.”
The study looked at the nine counties surrounding Rochester area. The results showed heroin overdoses are happening everywhere, including rural, suburban and rural areas.
The new legislation would make it easier for users to receive addiction help.