Newsday reported on Sunday that in Port Jefferson is one of two Long Island hospitals requesting more beds to accommodate an increase in patients admitted to its drug rehabilitation and detox program.
"Port Jefferson has asked to add 10 beds for medical detox and withdrawal," Newsday reported in the article.
Hospitals are seeing an increasing drug abuse over the past three or fours years including the use of prescription painkillers. The report said that this is particularly a problem among young, middle-class, white people.
"We get 15 to 20 calls a week from families asking about [help for] relatives, to take them in to get them off the drugs," St. Charles Hospital Chief Executive Jim O'Connor told Newsday.
This announcement comes after a on Jan. 9 where Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone addressed his concerns about violence in local pharmacies and the growing prescription drug problems on Long Island. During the conference he laid out a plan to increase safety and deter these types of robberies.
"These drugs need to be taken seriously and they are being taken seriously here in Suffolk County," Patch reported Bellone saying during the press conference at Suffolk County Police headquarters in Yaphank, just a few miles from where four people were during a pharmacy robbery in Medford last summer. "We now understand today that the gateway to addiction is the medicine cabinet."
Bellone later added that the county doesn't have enough resources to treat the large number of people addicted to prescription drugs.