The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation will host a special conference, “Women Treating Women: The MS Connection,” on April 5 for female patients and families affected by multiple sclerosis. The forum will present an opportunity to recognize the contributions of women physicians in caring for patients with chronic diseases. Dr. Anne Cross, a professor of neurology at Washington University at St. Louis, is the featured speaker. Other speakers and panelists include Drs. Tania Reyna and Phebe Tucker from the University of Oklahoma Medical Center, physical therapists and case managers. Space is limited to 80 attendees. Participation is free, but registration is required. OMRF is located at 825 NE 13 in Oklahoma City. The conference is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. To register, go to www.omrf.org/MSconnection.
Painkiller abuse grows
Prescription drug abuse is Oklahoma's fastest growing drug problem. Of the nearly 3,200 unintentional poisoning deaths in Oklahoma from 2007 to 2011, 81 percent involved at least one prescription drug. In 2010, Oklahoma had the fourth highest unintentional poisoning death rate in the nation. Many people who misuse painkillers obtain them from family and friends, either by giving or selling their prescription medication or having the medication taken without permission. The state Health Department suggests the following for preventing prescription drug overdoses: Only take medications as prescribed and never take more than the recommended dosage, especially when taking opioid painkillers; Never share or sell your prescription drugs; Dispose of unused, unneeded or expired prescription drugs at approved drug disposal sites; and keep all pain medications in a safe place to avoid theft and access to children. The Poison Control number is (800) 222-1222. For more information on preventing unintentional poisonings, contact the OSDH Injury Prevention Service at 271-3430 or visit http://poison.health.ok.gov. For help finding treatment referrals call 211. To report illegal distribution or diversion of prescription drugs, call the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control at (800) 522-8031.