Oklahoma officials seek remedy for reliance on Rx drugs

BY KIM ARCHER - Tulsa World Modified: April 5, 2010 at 5:12 am •  Published: April 5, 2010
Nobody starts out to get addicted to prescription drugs, but some people are just more susceptible to it than others, said Dr. William Yarborough, addiction specialist at the University of Oklahoma’s School of Community Medicine.

"Addiction is an illness that has psychiatric and moral symptoms. At the end of the day, addiction is a brain chemistry disease,” he said.

Public misconceptions about addiction, including demonizing the addict and the drugs, only exacerbate the problem, he said.

"We also have to kind of get away from the idea that the drugs themselves are evil,” Yarborough said.

The diversion and abuse of prescription drugs is a "serious and increasing problem” in the U.S., according to the 2010 National Drug Threat Assessment.

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