Painkiller Abuse on Rise in NYC: Survey

Friday, Aug 26, 2011  |  Updated 8:33 AM EDT
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The report shows that next to marijuana, painkillers are the drugs New Yorkers are taking illegally more than any other.

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The number of narcotic-related emergency room visits has risen significantly due to an increased abuse of prescription painkillers, according to a New York City Health Department survey.

Between 2004 and 2009, those visits rose 40 percent.

The survey, "Drugs in New York City: Misuse, Morbidity and Mortality Update," was reviewed by the Wall Street Journal.

The report shows that next to marijuana, painkillers are the drugs New Yorkers are taking illegally more than any other.

About 14 percent of the city's population over the age of 12 reported using marijuana during 2008 and 2009.

Next were opioids, mainly oxycodone and hydrocodone-based prescription drugs such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet.

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