ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer is announcing the first phase of a statewide database to help track what he calls a rising epidemic of heroin use in New York.
The New York Democrat on Wednesday says the President's Office of National Drug Control Policy has agreed to meet with state and local government officials within the next three months to determine how to track heroin and other drug-related crimes.
The database would help counties set up a database to track heroin and other drug-related overdoses, deaths, hospital admissions and crimes statewide, as well as help police identify patterns and crack down on distribution rings.
Schumer pointed to the rise in prescription drug abuse as the prime reason for heroin's growth because heroin is more accessible and cheaper than prescription medication.
New York City currently has a similar program.