ALBANY, N.Y. - Officials say prescription drug abuse throughout the Capital Region has increased and criminals are stealing them right out of personal medicine cabinets.
Senator Charles Schumer along with county public officials spoke Monday, pushing for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to change regulations given the rise in these drug-related crimes.
Senator Schumer is urging the DEA to allow pharmacies and community organizations to host prescription drug take-back events. Currently, only the DEA has the authority to organize these events, which officials say are infrequent and inconvenient.
He says to take these prescription drugs off the streets is to have take-back and buy-back programs at local pharmacies and qualified anti-drug abuse organizations.
"If there were buy-back programs like the successful gun buy-back programs it would encourage people to come in and take their drugs off their shelves, save their own home perhaps from burglary or their own children perhaps from an addiction," Schumer said.
The senator says 70 percent of those addicted to prescription drugs get them from homes and only five percent get them from a drug dealer.