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drug overdose

Oklahoma Opioid Deaths Continue To Rise

Mar 7, 2018
Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

New data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests drug overdose deaths declined in some states — but not in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter is suing more than a dozen U.S. drug manufacturers.

White House Director of National Drug Control Policy Michael Botticelli speaks at a news conference Wednesday.
Matt Trotter / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

The Indian Health Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs are partnering to take on prescription drug overdose deaths.

The IHS will provide naloxone to BIA officers starting next year. The fast-acting drug counteracts respiratory shutdown brought on by overdosing on heroin or prescription painkillers.

madpoet_one / Flickr Creative Commons

Drug overdoses caused by prescription drug abuse are a growing problem in rural Oklahoma.

The Oklahoman reports that while most overdoses occur in Oklahoma and Tulsa counties, rural counties in the state represent a growing segment of the prescription drug epidemic.

Craig County in northeastern Oklahoma has been the worst in the state in recent years in terms of drug overdoses, both fatal and nonfatal. For the past two years in which information is available, Craig County has posted the highest overdose rates per 10,000 residents in Oklahoma.

Overdose Deaths Level Off

Oct 5, 2014
madpoet_one / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma's overdose death toll dipped slightly in 2013, but state drug law enforcers say it's too soon to celebrate.

The 2013 overdose death count was 821, compared with 850 the previous year, according to recently compiled data from the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

Although the 2013 count could rise by a few deaths as medical examiners complete reports on a handful of pending cases, the narcotics bureau said it appears unlikely that the final tally will rise above 2012's total.

"It's very encouraging. Something is changing in a positive direction," said bureau spokesman Mark Woodward. "But we're not seeing it plummet, so we don't want to get too excited. We saw some years in the past where we had a slight drop, and then it shot back up."