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.

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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.

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“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.

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“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.”