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A Bid to End Overdoses

Avi Israel remembers everything about the day his 20-year-old son, Michael, killed himself three years ago; from the cocking sound of the shotgun to his desperate struggle to break down the bedroom door, to finding Michael in a pool of blood.

It was Michael’s addiction to prescription painkillers that killed him, Israel said recently. And he blames that addiction on the 20-odd prescriptions from three different doctors treating Michael’s Crohn’s disease.

“When I lost Michael, it was unnecessary,” Israel said. “Michael could’ve lived.”

Israel, 61, and his wife are among the families that pushed for New York’s Internet System for Over-Prescribing Act, or I-STOP, which was signed into law in 2012.

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