Addicted Oklahoma: Problem prescribers help fuel deadly epidemic

Interactive map: Fatal drug overdoses by county

  • At least one Oklahoman will die today from prescription drug overdose


    In 2012, unintentional prescription drug overdoses claimed the lives of 534 Oklahomans. State health authorities say about half of them had taken drugs prescribed by their own doctors. And, had it not been for complaints from the public, their prescribing practices might never have been...

  • CDC awards more than $1 million to Oklahoma to advance prescription drug overdose prevention

    BY JACLYN COSGROVE, Staff Writer | Updated: Thu, Aug 14, 2014

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that Oklahoma will receive more than $1 million over the next three years to help prevent prescription drug overdoses and address the patient and prescribing behaviors that drive it.

  • 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.

  • Debate heats up over specialty drugs' cost

    By Dr. Stephen Prescott | Published: Sun, Jul 6, 2014

    The cost of two new hepatitis C prescription drugs — $84,000 for a 12-week course of Sovaldi and $66,000 for Olysio — has made an already hot debate about medication costs even more heated.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Report details long-term prescription drug use among Oklahoma's injured workers

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Thu, May 8, 2014

    The Workers Compensation Research Institute published a report Thursday that examines the prevalence of longer term use of opioids in 25 states and how often medical providers use recommended medical treatment guidelines when monitoring and managing long-term opioid therapy.



An investigation by

A note from Kelly Dyer Fry
Editor and Vice President of News

Here at The Oklahoman, we are dedicated to making Oklahoma a better place to live, work and raise a family. As you just read, our state has one of the nation's biggest problems with prescription drug abuse. We partnered with Oklahoma Watch to find the gaps in our system, and we’re asking you to work with us to persuade our leaders to find a better solution.
You can do this by:

• Visiting the Oklahoma House website to find your legislative representative and let them know
why this is important.

• Share this page
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• Use the hashtag #AddictedOklahoma

• Join the Facebook group Oklahoma’s Addiction and Mental Health Community to talk with others who are going through or have experienced the same issues.

Join us in the fight against addiction.
Together, we can make a difference.

Editorials from The Oklahoman

Legislation could reduce doctor shopping in Oklahoma

Changes needed in the way Oklahoma agencies deal with prescription drug deaths

Curious about your doctor?

These state websites allow users to search for disciplinary actions against caregivers.

Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs

Oklahoma Board of Osteopathic Examiners

Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision


Addicted Oklahoma: The numbers behind the epidemic

View infographics about the prescription drug problem in Oklahoma.

Useful links