Created: 03/06/2014 6:56 AM WHEC.com
By: Associated Press
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is proposing a new statewide database to help track what he calls a rising epidemic of heroin abuse.
The New York Democrat says he's asking the President's Office of National Drug Control Policy to help counties set up a database to track heroin- and other drug-related overdoses, deaths, hospital admissions and crimes statewide.
It would help police identify patterns and crack down on distribution rings.
New York City currently has the program.
Schumer says he's also urging more federal grant funding for state drug treatment and prevention programs.
He says the rise in prescription drug abuse has helped fuel the growth in illicit use of heroin as a cheaper, more accessible alternative.