Opiates continue to ravage rural communities in Oklahoma, and the question of how to combat the problem is expected to dominate the 2018 legislative session.
As Oklahoma Watch reports, the state is doing some things right, but in other areas the response to the drug epidemic has lagged behind other states. Overdoses from methamphetamine and heroin have increased in recent years. In fact, last year, a record 899 Oklahomans died from drug overdoses.
That’s an increase of almost 70 percent since 2007.
But the news isn’t all bad. Opioid fatalities have declined in Oklahoma in recent years. And, after peaking three years prior, Oklahoma’s prescriptions for controlled, dangerous drugs have seen a steady decline. The question now becomes, what other changes would make a difference in combating the scourge of opioids?
Expect legislators to grapple with the problem at length next time they convene.