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Experts: Prescription drug problems plaguing Oklahoma

Published: September 20, 2012
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Experts say Oklahoma is leading the nation in prescription drug abuse and that the problem will continue to get worse unless lawmakers take major steps to address the problem.

Evidence presented Thursday during a meeting of the House Public Health Committee suggests Oklahoma is at or near the top in several prescription drug abuse categories.

Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Director Darrell Weaver says there has been a 137 percent increase in the number of drug overdose deaths in the last decade. He says 80 percent of those are from prescription drugs.

Democratic state Rep. Richard Morrissette requested the study and says the state needs to fund more drug and alcohol prevention programs and train more officers on how to detect people under the influence of prescription drugs.