If you don’t live in New York, it’s quite possible that you’ve never heard of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

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But Schneiderman has become the biggest force against prescription drug abuse in 2012. He issued a 42-page report that documents the year-to-year increase in the number of hydrocodone and oxycodone prescriptions being written in New York State, as well as prescription drug-related addiction and death.

Among the highlights of the report cited by Buffalonews.com:

• There were enough prescription painkillers prescribed in the United States in 2010 to medicate every American adult round-the-clock for a month. In New York State, the number of prescriptions for all narcotic painkillers increased from 16.6 million in 2007 to 22.4 million in 2010.

• The number of prescriptions issued in the state for hydrocodone increased by 16.7 percent from 2007 to 2010. The number of oxycodone prescriptions during that period increased by 82 percent. Both drugs are opioid painkillers, with oxycodone being much stronger than hydrocodone.

• Hospital admissions on Long Island for prescription drug addiction increased by 57 percent in Nassau County and by 40 percent in Suffolk County from 2007 to 2010.

• In Buffalo area hospitals, more people are being admitted for prescription narcotics abuse than for cocaine or heroin.

• In New York City, the special narcotics prosecutor’s caseload involving prescription drug cases increased from 6% in 2007, to 15 percent in 2010. That office also reported that the black market prescription drug trade is becoming increasingly violent.

This is the shift seen across America.

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