Experts: State’s prescription drug abuse problem lacks simple solution

By Cary Aspinwall

prescription drug abuseOKLAHOMA CITY – There’s no simple solution to Oklahoma’s extensive prescription drug abuse problem, state lawmakers were told Wednesday.

Oklahoma leads the nation in nonmedical use of pain relievers in the past year among all age categories, representatives for the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services told the panel.

Rep. Richard Morrissette, D-Oklahoma City, led Wednesday’s interim study to examine possible legislative solutions to Oklahoma’s prescription drug problem.

Even with a state prescription monitoring program in place since 2006, lawmakers learned of one woman who was able to legally obtain 3,488 pills in 10 months through visits to more than 20 physicians.

That woman lived, but deaths due to unintentional prescription drug overdoses in Oklahoma have increased by at least 105 percent over the past decade, according to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

Full story at Tulsa World

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Will Savage

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