Oklahoma Population Declines and Drug Deaths are to Blame
Oklahoma is the number one state for prescription pain killer abuse currently in the United States. The synergistic effect of opiates with benzodiazipines is not commonly known amongst opiate users and results can be deadly. According to The Bureau of Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Control, in 2010 in Oklahoma there were 153 deaths from hydrocodone, 143 from oxycodone and 139 from Xanax, and reports indicate numbers which have doubled in the past 10 years. Along with many states, Oklahoma is complaining that the drug monitoring programs are not sufficient enough to protect the medical profession from be perpetrated by addicts who are doctor shopping. In addition, doctors are not aware of the medications other doctors are prescribing and addicts are dying from the lethal combinations of medications. These lethal cocktails are responsible for the increased overdoses that are happening in our society. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the sales of opiate painkillers quadrupled from 1999-2010 and that more than half of the addicts who die are the result of mixing opiates with other drugs. The most common offenders are opiates with Xanax, Valium, and alcohol. New proposals in Oklahoma have been made that prescription medications, such as hydrocodone, should not be able to be called in over the phone. The patient will have to present a written prescription, which will help decrease turnover rates. This will force physicians to check databases before prescribing controlled substances. In addition, legislation House Bill 2468 also proposed that medications that contain hydrocodone such as Loratab and Vicodin have stricter controls regarding dispense. It may be more helpful for doctors to be educated about prescription drug addiction and the synergistic effects of medications. All people seeking drug treatment should be given a drug test on- site prior to obtaining prescription medications to double check what medications might be in the patient’s system to begin with. If you know someone addicted or having trouble with prescription medication, save their life and call us. Our addiction specialist will know exactly what to do to help 888-617-6383.