NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)A “60 Minutes/Washington Post” investigation aired this past weekend revealed that Congress fueled the opioid epidemic by passing a bill limiting the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to freeze suspicious narcotics shipments.

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, the impact is being felt in New York.

New York City Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan said when the law took effect a year and a half ago, her office began to notice an important tool had been removed from the DEA’s regulatory toolbox.

“This is really intended to protect the public by regulating the practitioners and those who distribute drugs,” Brennan said.

The process allows for an immediate license suspension. Pursuing charges against a doctor, said Brennan, could take months or even years.

“It’s like bringing a hatchet to do surgery,” Brennan said. “What you’d really want is a robust, rigorous regulatory process, which would prevent any of those tragedies from ever happening.”