According to a recent reports and statistics collected from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the Oklahoma painkiller epidemic is an issue of serious concern. Per capita, it appears that Oklahomans are consuming more hydrocodone (an opioid painkiller) than Californians.
In a recent phone interview with Oklahoma City Police Captain Chris Woodruff, Narconon gained valuable insight on law enforcement’s perspective on this devastating state-wide issue and further learned what Oklahoma residents can do to help their communities bounce back.
Law Enforcement Weighs in on Oklahoma’s Prescription Problem
The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN) recently reported a staggering 78% increase in the death of Oklahoma state residents as a result of drug overdose. Primary drugs of concern are prescription painkillers like OxyContin and hydrocodone.
On a national level, the White House and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently declared that the United States was experiencing a serious prescription drug abuse epidemic. How do such issues translate to state and community leaders? Does this sort of epidemic affect Oklahoma’s youth, high schools and families? Oklahoma City law enforcement faces this problem head-on, witnessing the devastating effects first-hand.
“I have seen a significant increase in prescription drug abuse in the last year around the Oklahoma City area,” said Captain Chris Woodruff of the Special Investigations Division at the Oklahoma City Police Department. “This has become a major problem amongst young teens in the junior and senior high school age.”
The distribution of prescription substances is seemingly making a transition from the medicine cabinet, and more users are turning to street dealers for their prescription drug of choice.
“Many individuals involved with distribution of more traditional controlled substances are beginning to obtain prescription drugs to sell also,” added Woodruff. According to Mark Woodward of the OBN, many Oklahomans “doctor shop” by visiting 10-15 different doctors to obtain enough prescription drugs to support their habit.
How Can You Help?
As prescription drugs become more prominent around the state, Oklahoma residents are left wondering what they can do to better their communities and slow the progression of this deadly prescription drug abuse epidemic.
Captain Woodruff explains that there are actions that Oklahoma residents can undertake, such as:
- Continued public support with local law enforcement
- Drug education for children and teens
- Learning the signs of drug abuse and helping those who need it
Wooruff also urged Oklahomans to take advantage of prescription drug take-back programs to clean out old, unneeded prescriptions.
Derry Hallmark, Senior Director For Expansion at Narconon Arrowhead, agrees with Woodruff. “Through community involvement with drug education and rehabilitation for those addicted, we can put a stop to the devistating prescription opiate addiction,” Hallmark stated.
Narconon Arrowhead, located in Canadian, OK, a non-profit drug and alcohol treatment facility, offers a mobile drug education unit that travels the state and country, offering drug education to schools, companies, and any other interested groups.
“We are working to fight this prescription drug abuse epidemic at both ends,” said Hallmark. “We send our trained drug educators around the state to offer drug education on one front for preventative measures, while at the same time we offer help to those who struggle with addiction through our long-term rehab program.”
For more information on prescription drug abuse, or to get help for yourself or a loved one who is struggling with addiction, contact Narconon by calling 1-800-468-6933 or by logging onto www.stopaddiction.com.