2003_8_emergency.jpgIt's a cup half-full or half-empty situation: Cocaine and heroin abuse-related visits have gone down in New York emergency rooms, however prescription narcotics painkiller abuse has skyrocketed. A report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says that at 30 local hospitals, 2000-2002, "showed abuse of narcotic pain relievers jumped 79 percent, but cocaine and heroin abuse dropped about 9 percent." Leah Young, the report's author, notes while national cocaine abuse rose, in New York cocaine abuse dropped. She tells the Post, "That could mean there's less cocaine use in New York City or it could mean other things." Ha - like New Yorkers can handle their crack better or something? Nice one, Young, Gothamist can read between the lines.

How an emergency room works.