In this Feb. 19 file photo, hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen pills, also known as Vicodin, are arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)
Earlier this week, the Food and Drug Administration announced a plan for greater restrictions on prescription painkillers containing hydrocodone.
The plan would make products containing hydrocodone mixed with over-the-counter painkillers, like Tylenol, a Schedule II substance. Currently, prescription pills that meet this criteria, like Lortab and Vicodin, are considered a Schedule III drug.
Members of the community who have been battling the epidemic of prescription drug abuse welcome the news.
“I think it’s the right direction,” said Barry Staubus, district attorney general for Sullivan County. “It puts more controls and restrictions on the availability of these drugs to patients, ... it’s a good first step. There are other things that need to be done.”
Schedule II drugs are defined as drugs, substances or chemicals with a high potential for abuse. Schedule II drugs have less abuse potential than Schedule I drugs, and use of that classification of drugs could potentially lead to severe psychological and physical dependence.Read more in Saturday's print edition of the Times-News or in the expanded electronic edition.