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Substance-abuse programs struggle to keep up with huge demand for services

Recent slashes in publicly funded treatment centers meant that few beds were available when Lindsey Arias finally worked up the courage to seek help for her addiction.
By GINNIE GRAHAM & CURTIS KILLMAN - Tulsa World Modified: March 18, 2012 at 10:30 am •  Published: March 18, 2012
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Arias is one of thousands of Oklahomans with little or no health insurance asking for an intervention in her prescription painkiller addiction but finding few options.

"Addiction is a two-way street," she said. "People don't know what to do or how to get out of it. We need to get access to a program to know how to make our own choices again."

The 34-year-old mother of three found a spot at a government-funded bed at Tulsa's 12&12 Inc. center and has graduated into a grant-funded transitional living program.

"Who would want to be this way?" Arias said. "I saw this as my last shot to get it right. I'm halfway there. This has helped me make the right decision, regain control of my choices."

As Oklahoma tops the nation in nonmedical use of prescription painkillers and remains high in meth and alcohol addiction, the state agency charged with addressing those problems has had to deal with severe budget cuts.

See the full story on TulsaWorld.com

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