Montesano Signs On To Legislation To Combat Prescription Drug Abuse

February 14, 2012

Assemblyman Michael Montesano (R, I, C – Glen Head) has co-sponsored a series of bills authored by Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes designed to aggressively combat prescription drug abuse and addiction. Montesano’s support comes in addition to a bill he sponsored requiring a patient’s informed consent to the possible adverse side effects of a drug prior to its prescription.

“I commend Assemblywoman Peoples-Stokes for sponsoring these important pieces of legislation, and I enthusiastically lend my support,” said Montesano. “As an attorney, NYPD detective, investigator for the New York City Emergency Medical Service and former EMT supervisor, I have seen firsthand the pain of prescription drug abuse and addiction. It has become a growing problem in all our communities. We must not ignore it any longer.”

The bills that Assemblyman Montesano is supporting address this rising epidemic from multiple angles. With Assembly bill 9093, patients would be educated on prevention, mitigation and treatment of prescription drug addiction as well as require informed consent prior to prescription. The other two bills proposed by Assemblywoman Peoples-Stokes pertain to medical professionals. Assembly bill 9102 would require doctors, nurses and pharmacists to undergo at least three hours annually of continuing education on opiates and addiction, and Assembly bill 9093 creates guidelines to manage addiction solutions ranging from high-risk addicts to low-risk addicts. These guidelines would not be forcibly implemented, but rather provide a valuable resource to medical professionals looking to manage their patient’s drug use.

“A key step in preventing drug addiction is providing significant training and options for the medical community. With continuing education on opiate analgesics and drug addiction, we can help our doctors and nurses to better identify patients struggling with abuse,” said Montesano. “A set of guidelines for prescription drug addiction and the level of dependency will prove to be an invaluable resource in assisting medical professionals with developing effective strategies to address abuse.

“I’m proud to add my name to such vital legislation. The well-being of our communities is a priority of mine, and I can honestly state that by supporting these measures we are enhancing the health and safety of all our residents.”