Uncovering Oklahoma’s Hidden Prescription Drug Abuse Problem

Posted in Uncategorized

Prescription Abuse has Hit Oklahoma According to Oklahoma’s Prescription Monitoring Program, pharmacies throughout the state filled almost 10 million prescriptions last year. These include narcotic painkillers and other controlled, dangerous substances. This means that per patient, the average rests at 68 prescriptions, including refills. This means more than 597 million doses of controlled pharmaceuticals such as steroids, sleeping pills, tranquilizers and painkillers. If those numbers sound crazy to you, it is about to get a whole lot worse.

Oklahoma has almost 16,000 medical professionals that are capable of writing prescriptions for narcotics. According to the latest numbers from state officials, roughly 1,500 individuals prescribed almost 75 percent of all the controlled substance prescriptions filled in 2013. Perhaps equally worrying is that most medical professionals throughout the state do not look up their client’s information in the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program before they refill or write new scripts. They are not required to do so with the current legislation.

It is vital that something happens because the toll that prescription drug abuse takes on the state continues to get worse. In one recent year, 844 Oklahomans lost their life because of a (mostly accidental) drug overdose. That outnumbers the people who have died in car accidents throughout the year. Prescription drug abuse plays a large role in these deaths. Statistics show that those substances are involved in almost 75 percent of all fatal overdoses. Oftentimes, a combination of substances, lead to a fatal overdose. It should be obvious by now that the state has an escalating prescription drug crisis.

The three leading overdose contributors are the usual suspects – alprazolam (Xanax), hydrocodone (Percocet, OxyContin), and hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab). While the risk of overdose of a single substance is high enough, most of the fatal accidents occur because the user ingested more than one of these substances or combines them with alcohol or other controlled substances.

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Maryland Discovering Deadly Results of Fentanyl Abuse

Posted in Drug Addiction

Fentanyl is Quickly Becoming a Serious Drug ProblemSince September of last year, 37 Marylanders have died because of a fatal combination of Fentanyl and heroin. Sometimes these users are dead within mere minutes of first using. The reason behind this trend is that drug dealers are lacing the potent painkiller in with heroin, oftentimes without warning their users that they are actually mixing these two substances together. Law enforcement officials are already warning about the dangers of the combination because Maryland is not the only affected state. In fact, there are dozens dead in several different states.

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Follow Chris Christie’s Example – Prioritize Drug Treatment

Prioritizing Drug Rehab is Important to Make a DifferenceWhen New Jersey Governor Chris Christie took the stage for his ‘State of the State’ address, he made it clear that drug-related law enforcement and addiction treatment were two factors that deeply concerned him. Christie heaped praise upon New Jersey’s treatment policies and programs. He also suggested that he wanted to expand drug rehabilitation services to include long-term substance abuse care and employment services.

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Indiana Protecting Babies from Rx Painkillers

Babies Addicted to Prescription PainkillersAccording to recent studies by physicians at the University of Michigan that were printed in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the number of infants that are born with a drug withdrawal syndrome known as neonatal abstinence syndrome have tripled in just a decade. This is a problem throughout the country and the state of Indiana is no exemption.

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New Drug Detection Tool is Making Great Progress

Posted in Drug Addiction

photodune-3457707-analysis-xsA pocket-sized drug test for use in health care settings just recently received a $2.1 million donation from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This project is going to produce test results within mere minutes, meaning that emergency rooms are going to be able to treat their patient far faster. This device has an accuracy of nanogram-per-milliliter level, which is more than enough time to provide an accurate reading.

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Parents: Marijuana Addiction Can Be a Very Real Problem for Teens

Posted in Drug Addiction

marijuanaEven though popular media appears to ascribe to a differing viewpoint, marijuana is not a ‘recreational drug’ that people can use without consequences. An article in the Journal of Adolescent Health that discussed a recent study completed by researchers at Yale’s University School of Medicine suggested that it might in fact be the dreaded gateway drug. However, before we continue, it is vital that we do not take steps to demonize this illicit substance in such a way that our information seems biased. The study also suggested (in men between 18 and 25, not in women) that alcohol and cigarettes could function as a gateway into prescription drug abuse as well.

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Drastic Increase in Drug Overdose Deaths in Kentucky Show Dangers of Prescription Drug Abuse

Pills from bottleEven though it is disappointing to admit for many people who work in the addiction field, prescription drug abuse has become an increasing problem throughout the nation. Perhaps even more worrisome is the fact that the epidemic does not appear to be slowing down at all. Even though there are a number of different ideas being tossed around and/or implemented that would result in a decrease in the prescription medication epidemic, it only continues to grow. This is not a problem that affects only specific states; Kentucky is clear evidence of that.

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Bobby Brown Finds Himself with another DUI Arrest

Bobby Brown's Alcohol IssuesIn what could only be considered the ‘least surprising bit of celebrity news of the last six months, Bobby Brown was arrested on another DUI charge in October of last year. If that sounds familiar, it may be because it is the second time Brown was arrested on a DUI charge (in March) that year. Even though Brown attended a short-term rehab program and was forced into a three-month alcohol education program, this type of situation makes it painfully obvious that short-term recovery is simply not an option for many patients that are struggling with dependence. In this particular situation, we are dealing with a long-time user who has been arrested before and has gone in and out of multiple treatment facilities for relatively short periods.

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How Cocaine Addiction Managed to Destroy an Entire Society

Posted in Drug Addiction

Effects to Guinea-BissauPeople have heard about the power of addiction before. They have probably heard that drug addiction can ruin a person’s life, tear apart entire families, devastate entire communities, but few will realize that it can manage to affect an entire country. That is the case with Guinea-Bissau. Like most problems that deal with addiction, it started out innocently enough.

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Synthetic Bath Salts May Be the Most Dangerous Drug You Don’t Know About

Posted in Drug Addiction

When you hear names such as “Ivory Coast, “Ivory Soft,” “White Lightning” and Cloud Nine,” it does not automatically make a person feel suspicious. However, those are just some of the names of dangerous synthetic drugs that are popping up throughout the country. It is those innocent names that make them seem harmless; without providing real identifying information to the user, makes them that much more dangerous. These synthetic drugs have some dangerous side effects. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the first two months of 2011 saw the same number of calls to Poison Control for the use of ‘bath salts’ as they did throughout all of 2010. Because these designer drugs are relatively new, we know very little about the use and long-term effects. We do, however, notice the short-term effects that they cause, because of firsthand accounts from medical professionals and people that have used them.

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