Two non-narcotic painkillers prescribed by doctors as an alternative to opioids are now being illegally sold on Long Island’s streets.
Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds from Family and Children’s Association in Mineola says addicts will combine Lyrica or Neurontin with opioids to enhance the high and save money.
“If you are using five or six pills that cost $50 a day, you can actually knock that down to four pills a day by substituting in a non-opioid like Lyrica or Neurontin, and that's only $10, and then the money begins to work out.”
A study by the New England Journal of Medicine finds doctors are prescribing the two drugs as they face tighter regulations with opioids.
Lyrica and Neurontin are two of the most widely prescribed drugs nationwide. They act on a key chemical in the brain, which can have a sedating effect on patients.
The pills are being sold and traded illegally at $10-$20 each.