Over the past decade, Oklahoma has seen a dramatic increase in the number of residents who have died from prescription drug overdose, especially overdoses that involve opioids, powerful painkillers like oxycodone and hydrocodone. Here’s what you need to know about prescription drug abuse in Oklahoma:
  1. In 2012, unintentional prescription drug overdoses claimed the lives of 534 Oklahomans. State health authorities say about half of them had taken drugs prescribed by their own doctors. http://okne.ws/1LSVRJ4
  2. From a report in 2014: Overdose deaths surpassed motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of unintentional injury in the state and were the leading cause of death by injury for Oklahomans ages 25 to 64. http://okne.ws/1LSVRJ4
  3. March 2, 2014 was the deadliest month for prescription drug overdoses in Oklahoma since authorities began tracking such deaths in 2001. During the month, 61 Oklahomans died of confirmed prescription drug overdoses, an average of almost two per day. http://okne.ws/1RNfLnG
  4. An investigation in 2014 found that the state’s primary tool for tracking narcotic sales — the Prescription Monitoring Program — was underused by enforcement authorities and many prescribers. http://okne.ws/1LSVRJ4
  5. For the past two years in which information is available, Craig County has posted the highest overdose rates per 10,000 residents in Oklahoma. http://okne.ws/1RNg2af