Top Stories


  • Tanzania's First Methadone Clinic A Smashing Success

    K. Lanktree | Updated: Tue, Jul 15, 2014

    In 2011, the Tanzanian government opened the country's first methadone maintenance clinic, and a new study is highlighting successes the program has achieved thus far.

  • Oklahoma City doctor agrees to pay federal government $40,000 settlement

    By Matt Dinger, Staff Writer | Updated: Tue, Jul 8, 2014

    An Oklahoma City doctor, Stanley K. Rogers, will pay the federal government $40,000 to settle a civil lawsuit alleging that an employee of the doctor acquired prescription drugs without a medical purpose.

  • Prescription drug abuse a major problem among Oklahoma nurses

    By Andrew Knittle, Staff Writer | Published: Sun, Jul 6, 2014

    Each year, hundreds of nurses working in the state are disciplined by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing, which dealt with a record 1,552 cases last year. With prescription drug abuse rampant in all corners of Oklahoma, it should come as no surprise that nurses stealing drugs is the biggest problem the nursing board deals with.

  • Oklahoma ranks No. 5 in rate of painkillers prescribed

    By Jaclyn Cosgrove, Staff Writer | Updated: Tue, Jul 1, 2014

    Oklahoma ranks No. 5 in the nation for the rate that physicians prescribe several powerful painkillers to residents, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

  • Russia's Drug Treatment Plans Draw Criticism

    K. Lanktree | Updated: Mon, Jun 30, 2014

    Despite the Russian Federal Drug Control Services plans of creating a new system of drug treatment communes and labor therapy sites throughout rural areas, many activists and addicts are denying any positive changes are occurring.

  • How Crimea's Methadone Ban Is Affecting Rehab Patients

    K. Lanktree | Updated: Wed, Jun 25, 2014

    The devastating effects of the Russian 'ban on methadone' is being felt is Crimea, with as many as 20 former Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) patients having died since it's implementation.

  • Oklahoma mental health agency's budget cuts serve as launching pad for fierce debate

    BY JACLYN COSGROVE, Staff Writer | Published: Wed, Jun 11, 2014

    Amid a crowd of more than 200 people, mental health providers fiercely debated Wednesday the impact that a proposed change in Medicaid behavioral health services will have on some of the poorest children and adults in the state.

  • 5 reasons harm reduction initiatives can help addicts, communities

    K. Lanktree | Updated: Thu, Jun 5, 2014

    While opponents of harm reduction initiatives have long cited numerous reasons as to why such services are indeed causing harm rather than actually reducing it, research has shown that these programs are in fact leaving a lasting positive impact.

  • Prescription drugs bill dies in committee

    By Phillip O’Connor and Jaclyn Cosgrove, Staff Writers | Updated: Fri, May 23, 2014

    Despite an intensive last-minute push by supporters, including Gov. Mary Fallin, who lobbied lawmakers in person and by telephone, a bill intended to crack down on prescription drug abuse failed to win legislative approval Friday. Backers of the measure, which would have required doctors to check an online database before writing narcotic prescriptions, needed the support of nine of the House Public Safety Committee’s 17 members to keep the bill alive. They never got more than six, killing the measure’s chance for passage this year. “I am disappointed the House Public Safety Committee would not even let their colleagues in the Legislature get to vote on a prescription drug monitoring bill,” Fallin said late Friday.

  • Backers make last-minute push for Oklahoma prescription drug bill

    BY WARREN VIETH, Oklahoma Watch, and PHILLIP O’CONNOR, Staff Writer | Published: Wed, May 21, 2014

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin’s office and key lawmakers battled Wednesday to prevent the death of a bill intended to crack down on prescription drug abuse, but its prospects appeared shaky as the 2014 session neared its end.

  • Former Bethany police officer gets hearing in prescription drug theft

    BY GRAHAM LEE BREWER, Staff Writer | Published: Wed, May 21, 2014

    An Oklahoma County judge heard arguments in the case of former Bethany police officer Jack Jencks, who is accused of stealing prescription drugs from an evidence locker. Jencks was also involved in the botched investigation into the murder of Carina Saunders in 2011.

  • New York Is a Hub in a Surging Heroin Trade

    Published: Tue, May 20, 2014

    The flood of heroin coming into and going out of New York City has surged to the highest levels in more than two decades, alarming law enforcement officials who say that bigger players are now entering the market to sell the drug here and to feed a growing appetite along the East Coast. The amount of heroin seized in investigations involving the city’s special narcotics prosecutor has already surpassed last year’s totals, and is higher than any year going back to 1991.

  • Oklahoma health leaders criticize doctor groups who oppose prescription drug bill

    By Jaclyn Cosgrove, Staff Writer | Published: Sun, May 18, 2014

    Oklahoma physicians are being “selfish and short-sighted” by opposing legislation that would require doctors to check an online database each time they write a prescription for narcotic painkillers and other controlled dangerous substances, health leaders said Friday.

  • Ardmore doctor skips hearing, loses medical license

    BY JACLYN COSGROVE, Staff Writer | Published: Thu, May 15, 2014

    An Ardmore doctor lost his medical license Thursday, apparently choosing not to defend himself before the medical board regarding allegations that he overprescribed powerful painkillers.

  • Perspective: The New Sober

    K. Lanktree | Updated: Thu, May 8, 2014

    A new and innovative take on what it means to be sober and how strict abstinence-only treatment approaches can be stigmatizing and detrimental to addicts in need of help.

  • Edmond parent support group develops app

    By Steve Gust, For The Oklahoman | Updated: Mon, Apr 28, 2014

    Edmond’s Parents Helping Parents support group created an app to help people with addiction problems and their parents.

  • Addicted Oklahoma: How can Oklahoma combat doctor-shopping?

    BY JACLYN COSGROVE and WARREN VIETH | Updated: Mon, Apr 7, 2014

    The Oklahoman's Jaclyn Cosgrove and Oklahoma Watch investigative reporter Warren Vieth chatted with readers Monday about Oklahoma's prescription drug abuse and overdose problem. The two media entities partnered together for a special report to raise awareness about this issue and  persuade our leaders to find a better solution.

  • Addicted Oklahoma: Problem prescribers help fuel deadly epidemic

    BY WARREN VIETH, JACLYN COSGROVE, ANDREW KNITTLE and PHILLIP O'CONNOR | Updated: Sun, Apr 6, 2014

    While much of Oklahoma's enforcement efforts are aimed at drug-seekers, far less effort is dedicated to identifying, investigating and pursuing the problem providers — the doctors who supply the sometimes deadly dosages.

  • NJ senator wants legalize marijuana to pay for roads

    Published: Wed, Mar 26, 2014

    A New Jersey lawmaker wants to legalize marijuana, tax it and use the revenue to pay to fix the state's roads and bridges. State Sen. Nicholas Scutari announced his plan Monday, acknowledging that opposition from Gov. Chris Christie could seriously hinder it but pointing out, "He's not going to be governor forever."

  • Potent New Painkiller May Prove Lethal for Addicts, Critics Warn

    Published: Fri, Feb 28, 2014

    The new painkiller Zohydro was approved just a few months ago and isn't even on pharmacy shelves yet, but the potent pill has already sparked a firestorm of protest from doctors and activists who fear that it will lead to abuse, addiction and deaths, according to NBC News. The Food and Drug Administration, which approved the drug against the recommendations of its advisory panel, says that a stronger pain pill is needed for patients who haven't been able to get relief from existing medications. Zohydro is expected to hit shelves March 1. But critics — including many state attorneys general — have asked the FDA to reconsider its approval. The high-profile criticism has folks wondering what makes this pain pill so controversial, NBC News reports.