The unfortunate reality is that prescription drug abuse has become a major problem across the nation, including right here in Oklahoma, as more and more people are seeking treatment, dying of overdoses or being arrested on drug-related charges.
According to health officials, there are two primary reasons for this phenomenon. First, the highly addictive nature of the drugs themselves, such that people unwittingly find themselves becoming addicted after initially taking the drugs for legitimate medical purposes.
Second, physicians may be overprescribing these addictive prescription drugs, making them that much easier to procure through legal or illegal channels. Indeed, statistics show that in an average year, physicians will write 128 prescriptions for painkillers for every 100 Oklahomans.
"We have far too many being pushed out legally into the supply, where then a person taking them legally can become addicted, or they can be diverted into the hands of someone who then becomes addicted or is already addicted," said the State Mental Health and Substance Abuse Commissioner.