(WBNG Binghamton) The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will be enforcing tighter control over prescriptions of the commonly-used painkiller hydrocodone.
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer announced on Thursday hydrocodone will be moved from a Schedule III drug to a Schedule II in 45 days.
According to the senator, this will mean greater restrictions in how doctors can prescribe the drug as well as the quantity that can be prescribed.
“Each day that passes means rising abuse, and even death, at the hands of hydrocodone-based drugs, and we cannot continue to lose more children and young adults to this painkiller scourge,” said Schumer. “I am very pleased that the DEA has heeded my call and listened to the FDA’s suggestion to tighten up access to hydrocodone. Now, the DEA and law enforcement will have greater control over one of the most highly prescribed – and abused – drugs on the market.”
The DEA scheduling system classifies drugs based on their medical use and potential for abuse and addiction.
According to the DEA, nearly seven million Americans abuse controlled-substance prescription medications, including opioid painkillers that contain hydrocodone. The DEA estimates that there are more deaths resulting from prescription drug overdoses than car accidents.