Oklahoma has the fifth highest drug overdose death rate in the United States, with 19.4 per 100,000 people suffering drug overdose fatalities, according to a new report, Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic.
According to the report:
The number of drug overdose deaths - a majority of which are from prescription drugs – in Oklahoma tripled since 1999 when the rate was 5.4 per 100,000. Nationally, rates have doubled in 29 states since 1999, quadrupled in four of these states and tripled in 10 more.
The report also finds that Oklahoma received eight out of 10 possible indicators of promising strategies to help curb prescription drug abuse. Nationally, 28 states and Washington, D.C. scored six or less, with New Mexico and Vermont scoring the highest, with a 10, and South Dakota scoring the lowest with two out of 10.
Oklahoma has also seen a huge increase in the number of residents abusing these drugs. In 2011, Oklahoma ranked No. 1 in the nation for the number of residents per capita abusing prescription pain drugs.
There are a variety of reasons why our state has been plagued by prescription drug abuse. I would like to hear from you.
In the form below, please share your perspective on why Oklahoma’s prescription drug abuse problem has grown so much. Also, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section of this blog post.