Facts About Drug and Alcohol Dependence in Oklahoma
Substance abuse is a serious issue threatening the entirety of the United States. We have seen an unfortunate and dramatic increase in the number of drug overdose deaths in the country, and these figures are accompanied by increases in opioid sales and more sophisticated drug trafficking. While illicit substances such as methamphetamine and cocaine are responsible for a large portion of admissions into substance abuse treatment programs, opioids remain not only the most commonly seen substance of choice but also the deadliest.
While cocaine and methamphetamine are life threatening in some situations, opioid deaths are particularly prevalent for several unique reasons. Primarily, opioids are accessible. The opioid overdose deaths reported are typically caused by either prescription opioids or heroin. Although the dangers of heroin addiction have been well known and advocated for decades, many people unfortunately assume that prescription opioids are entirely safe since doctors prescribe them. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Oklahoma consistently ranks among the top states for painkiller abuse and overdose deaths in the country. The deaths caused by prescription opioids eclipse all other illegal drugs and alcohol combined on a consistent basis. According to CDC research, the number of opioid deaths in America quadrupled between 1999 and 2015. Additionally, prescription opioid sales rose by a very similar margin. Prescription opioids account for most of the opioid overdose deaths in America every year, and this could be due to lack of awareness, poor or inadequate advice from doctors, and the ease of exploiting prescriptions. Once an individual has become addicted to prescription opioids, he or she may attempt a practice commonly called “doctor shopping.” This entails visiting several doctors in an effort to obtain multiple opioid prescriptions.
This method may keep the addicted person supplied for a while, but when refills are no longer an option the addict may then turn to heroin as a substitute. Heroin eases the symptoms of prescription opioid withdrawal and is far cheaper than buying prescription pills on the black market. Prescription painkillers are a necessity for many individuals with chronic or severe pain. Oklahoma has one of the highest rates of occupational injuries and fatalities in the nation, so this might suggest one reason for high prescription sales. Additionally, people have a higher life expectancy today than ever before, so elderly individuals living with chronic pain are often prescribed opioid painkillers.
It’s important to remember that the vast majority of prescription opioid overdose deaths are unintentional. Many individuals are unfortunately unaware of the dangers of prescription opioids and simply assume they are safe because a doctor prescribed them. However, it’s vital for Oklahoma patients to understand their prescriptions and know how to recognize the onset of addiction. Prevention is one of the best ways to curb the rising overdose death numbers, but this isn’t always an option for some.
Oklahoma’s Poor Drug Abuse History
Although Oklahoma has seen a decline in these cases in recent years, this progress has been met with cautious optimism due to the severity of the epidemic in the state. Chronic drug dependence is often masked by functional addiction, and with the high number of work-related incidents and subsequent drug prescriptions; there is an abundance of availability creating a huge opportunity for black market transactions.
Oklahoma lawmakers and advocates for substance abuse treatment have made several efforts to combat drug abuse deaths in the state. Law enforcement initiatives and statewide prescription drug monitoring have helped curb several practices that contribute to overdose death numbers. One the factors enabling these deaths to continue, however, might be the sheer number of prescriptions being written in the state. State research showed that almost 10 million prescriptions for potentially lethal medications were written in 2013. This number averages out to 68 prescriptions per person based on the number of patients in the study, for a total of 597 million doses.
Out-of-State Treatment Options
Awareness and education are vital for fighting the substance abuse epidemic in our country, but the right treatment is crucial as well. Without medical assistance, the detoxing process can be extremely painful or even life-threatening for some addiction sufferers. While Oklahoma has bolstered its substance abuse treatment options in recent years, many who are addicted find that the treatment centers of Florida offer a better standard of care.
Florida has acted as a gateway for international drugs entering the United States for years. The port of Miami is one of the busiest in the country, and the tremendous amount of cargo moving through it daily makes it the perfect camouflage for drug traffickers. Since Florida has often been the first to encounter new types of drugs and drug combinations, the substance abuse programs in Florida have also improved over time. Today, substance abuse treatment professionals across the nation often call Florida “The Recovery State.” Some of the best substance abuse doctors and counselors work in Florida at some of the most cutting-edge and reputable treatment centers.
The Treatment Center Difference
If you or someone close to you decides to see what Florida treatment centers have to offer, The Treatment Center of the Palm Beaches, LLC is the best choice for anyone looking for a holistic approach to substance abuse treatment. Everyone who suffers from addictions is different, and it’s important to not only assess a person’s physical state, the level of addiction, and the toll it has taken on the body, but also address any behavioral or emotional issues that may make recovery more challenging. These “dual diagnosis” cases are difficult for some treatment centers without behavioral health services. At The Treatment Center, we believe in doing everything possible to help each of our patients achieve total and lifelong sobriety.
We understand the negative social stigmas attached to substance abuse. Unfortunately, many addiction sufferers don’t seek the help they need due to the fear of judgment and ridicule. At The Treatment Center, we believe in compassionate care that is focused on helping you overcome your addictions. No matter what type of substance is the issue, our staff is fully trained and equipped with the latest methods and equipment backed by scientific testing. We can provide comprehensive medically-assisted detoxification care as well as counseling, continuing care, group therapy, and 12-step programs. When you come to The Treatment Center, you’ll receive the best substance abuse therapy available.