In a recent study published by WalletHub that ranked all the states in the USA with most drug problems, the state of Oklahoma came in the 35th spot. Its total drug problem score is 39.35 when their cases of overdose death rates, meth lab incidents, and arrests are combined.

Over the years, there’s an unfortunate and dramatic increase in the trend of drug problems and overdose deaths in Oklahoma and the whole of America. Oklahoma is consistently at the top of the states with the most number of painkiller abuse and overdose deaths in the country.

Opioid Abuse

The opioids are by far the most common drugs used by abusers all around the country, having an opioid epidemic across all the states. This kind of prescription drugs causes more death through overdose than motor vehicle crashes in Oklahoma.

In 2016, the state has recorded 444 opioid-related overdose deaths.

That data shows a rate of 11.6 deaths in every 100,000 people in Oklahoma. The national number for opioid-related overdose death is 13.3 deaths in every 100,000 people. The number of deaths has doubled if you look at 2012’s rate. In 2015, the recorded number of opioid prescriptions written was 101.7 per 100 people.

Recently, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation reported that Oklahoma’s reported death of 813 from drug-related overdoses, 55% were opioid-related. Oklahoma has been nearing over-prescribing. The city is about the fourth-highest for prescribing opioids for one year.

Prescription painkillers (opioids) are the most common type of illegal drugs involved in overdose deaths in Oklahoma (more than 80% of prescription drug-related overdose deaths). More overdose deaths involve prescription painkillers like opioid than alcohol and all illicit drugs combined.

Drug-exposed Infants

What’s even worse is that recently healthcare professionals recorded that there are 517 cases of newborn infants who tested positive for illegal drugs. It’s a 62% increase from the data recorded last 2013. This unfortunate trend was attributable to pregnant women who use drugs.

It’s a heartbreaking sight. Hundreds of babies who should’ve been healthy come out into a struggling world often undersized, crying, and wincing from mere exposure to light in a neonatal intensive care unit.

There are also 232 cases of child neglect and child abuse in Oklahoma. Officials are recommending to remove the babies from their families in 90 of the total cases.

How is Oklahoma Keeping Up with the Crisis?

Through the years that Oklahoma is struggling with the state’s drug problem, the officials are working hard to provide a safer environment for all the locals in Oklahoma. It’s no secret that one of the keys to providing a safe environment for everyone is by offering mental health treatment services to rehabilitate drug abusers. Mental health treatment is essential for opioid abusers since addiction is a mental illness. Without the proper treatment, those who are addicted are not going to get better.

The big obstacle in this solution is that Oklahoma is presently struggling with a huge budget crisis for mental health treatment. But the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services is doing the best they can to come up with a permanent solution to eradicating the current drug problem in Oklahoma.

Cities of Oklahoma

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