Nassau County opioid prescriptions drop

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A report from the state Department of Health showed a drop in the number of opioid prescriptions in Nassau County. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

A state agency reported a significant drop in the number of opioid prescriptions from 2016 to 2017 in Nassau County.

In 2016, the state recorded 552,586 opioid prescriptions in the county, but the total dropped by almost 8 percent to 509,889 prescriptions in 2017, according to a report from the state Department of Health. 

Numbers are recorded through the Prescription Monitoring Program.

The website for the Department of Health said it became a state requirement for prescriptions to be entered into the statewide registry in August 2013.

On Long Island, opioid prescriptions dropped from 1,358,008 in 2016 to 1,249,645 in 2017, a decrease of 8 percent, according to the most recent statistics.

Neighboring Suffolk County also had a decrease of 8 percent from 2016 to 2017. The report lists 805,422 prescriptions in 2016 and 739,756 in 2017.

Suffolk County prescribers wrote more prescriptions than Nassau County prescribers by 31 percent.

Despite the drop in prescriptions, there were 177 opioid-related deaths in Nassau County in 2017 as against 171 in 2016, according to a quarterly report released by the state in October.

The report also includes statistics from January to March of 2018, a period which recorded 22 deaths due to opioids.

This number reflects an increase of eight deaths from the same period in 2017.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran has made the fight against opioids a major part of her administration as a reaction to the increase in opioid use in the county over the past decade.

In September, she held a public forum at Hofstra University with Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder to inform parents and school administrators of the signs of teenage drug use and highlighted resources for those who may need help with substance abuse, among other topics discussed.

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