With a population of over 3 million people, Oklahoma is ranked number 14 on the national violent crime rate list. Oklahoma is a major shipment point for drugs to be transported into the United States via major Interstates and this has increased the need for Oklahoma drug rehab centers. Oklahoma is situated between the Ozark Plateau and the Great Plains in the Gulf of Mexico. Throughout the state, cocaine is a readily available drug transported from Texas and Mexico by motor vehicles and commercial airlines. Suppliers who travel to South Texas and Mexico are the main ones that transport the drug into Oklahoma City. Heroin has limited availability in the Oklahoma metropolitan areas and demand has declined in recent years.
Oklahoma Drug Rehab Programs
As with every other state in the United States, Oklahoma also is faced with drug-related crime and costs due to “club drugs”, marijuana, methamphetamine, and prescription drug abuse. For this reason, the need for effective addiction treatment programs is on the rise. It is imperative that each individual suffering from addiction problems gets the help they need so they can be returned to the outside world as a productive member of society.
The most effective programs for addiction treatment are those that offer a variety of options so clients can enjoy an individualized program that gets the most lasting results. No two addictions are the same, even if the drug of choice is the same. Each person’s mind and body has reacted to the drug’s presence in a different way, therefore, their treatment should adapt to address these differences.
In Oklahoma, drug rehab programs vary in their approaches to treatment and each has its own philosophies, but regardless of these distinctions, each addict should be able to get the best level of care for their unique needs. Available program options include traditional treatment, holistic programs or faith-based approaches to therapy.
Most programs offer a variety of classes, training, activities and counseling designed to achieve goals and help clients regain a sense of self-respect and confidence that will be needed when they attempt to enter society as a drug-free individual. They will meet many challenges at that time, but an aftercare program can offer continued support and guidance until the client feels ready to manage on their own. There are also programs that promote family-involvement as a means of giving the client a strong support structure to rely on when they leave the program.
Everyone wants to know about what goes on within their state, especially as it pertains to drugs. When the term “drug” is used, many people assume that it has to do with the illegal drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine and meth. This is not always the case. Oklahoma has a larger problem with prescription drugs than it does with illegal drugs. This is not to say that the state doesn’t have problems with the latter as well.
An in-depth look at drug problems within the state of Oklahoma can ensure people are aware of the issues as well as the general statistics.
Drug Control Update
The White House has released a Drug Control Update for the State of Oklahoma that has to do with trends, data, as well as major issues.
Meth lab seizures have increased dramatically over the past several years. This can mean that there are more people creating meth labs or the government is getting better at finding them and seizing control of them. The first is likely the case based upon the overall trends found throughout the state. The increase is an alarming 283 percent, which were 93 incidents in 2007 to 356 in 2009. Beginning in 2004, there was a dramatic reduction in seizures due to new laws being passed, including the CMEA. However, the increase is now being seen. The nationwide rise was 76 percent from 2007 to 2009 – and Oklahoma is considerably higher than this.
Much of the increase is believed to be as a result of “smurfing” which is where PSE is purchased in bulk for non-therapeutic reasons. There are also more mobile, “one pot” labs being created. Some states have been returning PSE (Pseudoephedrine) to a prescription drug status – and many states have seen a dramatic decrease in meth lab incidents as a result of taking this action.
Oklahoma is equal to the national average of Oklahoma residents who have reported using illicit drugs in the past month at 8 percent. A detailed look of the report shows that 4.85 percent reported using a drug other than marijuana, with the national average being 3.58 percent. This shows that people are likely going for an array of other illicit drugs in order to get one response or another from their body – and this may be why the rate of drug-related deaths in Oklahoma exceeds the U.S. average.
Based upon drug treatment admissions, the drugs that people were affected by, ranked by the highest number of admissions at the top of the list, are:
- Other opiates
Prescription Drugs is the fastest-growing problem within the United States and there is a Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan in place that deals with such things as monitoring programs, responsible disposal methods, more education, and reducing the number of pill mills.
Oklahoma Prescription Monitoring Program
In July 2006, the Oklahoma Prescription Monitoring Program was created. It has focused on deterring the abuse of prescription drugs. All dispensers of Schedule II through V controlled substances must submit their dispensing information to the bureau within 24 hours of dispensing such a substance. There is also a drug take-back program in place where people have the ability to proving in drugs that are unused, unneeded or expired.
Office of National Drug Control Policy
In 2007, there was a poll conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to show that 1 out of every 8 weekend and nighttime drivers tested positive for one kind of illicit drug or another. As a result of such statistics, the ONDCP has gotten involved to increase the awareness of drugged driving. Law enforcement officers have also gotten additional training in order to identify such drivers out on the streets.
States are also encouraged to have a Per Se law that facilitates enforcement and prosecution of those who have been found driving with a positive drug test.
Oklahoma does not have a Per Se standard in place. There is an Oklahoma law, however, that makes it a crime to drive, operate, or be in physical control of any motor vehicle who is under the influence of any intoxicating substance other than alcohol. While it does not specifically mention the use of an illicit drug, it is covered. The definition goes on to include the consumption of any substance that is “ingested, inhaled, injected or absorbed” into the body. People will be subject to imprisonment, a fine or both, at a judge’s discretion.
There are drug court locations throughout the state, though there is none in the four most northwestern counties in the state, including Cimarron, Texas, Beaver and Harper.
While the state is adhering to the basic standards in order to improve upon the drug control, there are various things that can be done to increase the control. This includes adding drug court locations so that there is one in each county as well as establishing a Per Se standard that clearly spells out the actions and consequences for the use of illicit drugs as opposed to using a generic description that many residents may simply dismiss because of not fully comprehending the meaning or the consequences.
Prescription Drug Use
According to the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (http://ok.gov/odmhsas/documents/PR RxAbuse-FactSheet.pdf), there has been an increase in deaths from prescription drug misuse and abuse. The total number of deaths associated with pain reliever deaths are more than that of cocaine and heroin combined.
OPR, which is opioid pain relievers, are of the number one concern. Oklahoma ranks number 9 out of the states involving overdose deaths as it relates to OPR. For over the age of 12, Oklahoma has been above the national average every year since 2004. Oklahoma also ranks number 1 for the nonmedical use of pain relievers throughout all age categories.
When it is broken down by age group, Oklahoma is almost double for the 12 or older group as well as the 18-25 and 26 or older groups in comparison to the U.S. percentages. The consumption of painkillers for non-medical use exceeded the national average by 67.3 percent in Oklahoma.
A study conducted in 2010 showed that more than 20 percent of 12th grade seniors reported using a prescription drug without a doctor giving them permission to do so.
There has been a growing concern of prescription drug problems in the state in 2009, there were 1.2 million emergency room visits as it related to the abuse or misuse of prescription drugs. This is a 98.4 percent increase since 2004, which shows that there are severe problems with the current system, including allowing people access to prescription drugs who should not have them.
Considering that the statistics show that children as early as 12 have access to prescription drugs and are using and abusing them is a problem that needs to be addressed within the state. While there are various initiatives taking place, the percentages are steadily climbing year after year. In the US as a whole, the percentages are actually starting to decrease, which can demonstrate Oklahoma’s statistics as being more alarming.
The death rates for a drug overdose in Oklahoma are higher than that of the United States. The percentage is 15.8 in the state, compared to 11.9 for the country. When just involving opioid analgesics, the percentage is 14.4, which is still higher than the national of 10.5.
Washington DC has created a “policy report card” as a way to ensure that strategies are being taken in order to curb the abuse of prescription drugs. There are a total of 10 different policies and programs and the State of Oklahoma scored an 8.
The things that the state is doing:
- Prescription Drug Monitoring Program in place
- Mandatory Utilization of PDMP by prescribers
- Doctor Shopping Laws
- Prescriber education required
- Good Samaritan laws
- Rescue drug laws
- Physical exam requirement
- ID requirement
There are some things that the state is not doing, including:
- Support for substance abuse treatment services
- Lock-in programs
Currently 46 of the states and Washington DC is taking advantage of the lock-in program, whereas Oklahoma has not as of yet. The program falls under the state Medicaid plan and those individuals who are reported as potentially misusing controlled substances would be required to use a single pharmacy and prescriber. This could cut down on the amount of substances that a single person has access to and that is being dispensed throughout the state.
As more drugs are dispensed, it leads to more people being given access. Those on Medicaid are generally disabled or retired, which means they may not be able to keep the drugs in a safe place that limits access. Caregivers, children, and even grandchildren have more access to them, which can contribute to the number of people who have said they take a prescription drug that was not directly prescribed to them.
Illegal Drug Use
The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics & Dangerous Drug Control offers a significant amount of information on the aspect of drug use – and specifically illegal drug traffic.
Some of the commonly misused drugs include:
Each of these has different looks and is used for different reasons.
Heroin is a derivative of morphine and much more powerful. It produces a “high,” giving people a sense of euphoria. It is typically odorless and can be white, off-white, or light brown in powder form. There are a number of slang terms to describe it with Snow and Smack being amongst the most common. It can be detected in urine within 10 hours of using.
Cocaine is odorless and comes in the form of a fluffy powder. It is a stimulant, not a narcotic. It is most commonly sniffed, but can be injected as well. It is a depressant and an anesthetic. It can cause hallucinations as well as delusions of a paranoid nature.
Marijuana, commonly called pot, weed, hemp and ganja, are smoked and can relieve pain and promote sleep. It can be used for medicinal purposes because the after-effects are generally minimal, but there is psychological dependence issues associated.
There are plenty of other illegal drugs being used throughout the state as well, including LSD, Morning Glory seeds and various others, though they are not seen on the same scale as the three that were previously mentioned.
People are often able to see if those around them are misusing the drugs based upon behavior patterns associated with the different classes of drugs. For example, depressants can include slurred speech, staggering and stumbling, and behavior common with alcohol intoxication. Stimulants can cause a person to appear nervous talkative, and go long periods without sleeping or eating. Narcotics will often leave scars or tracks on the arms from the injections and they can have red, watery eyes and appear lethargic. Marijuana can result in bloodshot eyes, bursts of laughter, and then sleepiness in the later stages.
Meth is the drug that is of the greatest concern in the state when referring to the illicit drugs. It is produced throughout Mexico and the Southwest – and it is believed that there are approximately 14.4 kilograms in the state at any time (source http://www.ncbuy.com/health/drugs/us_ok.html). The state serves as a shipment point between some of the other states in the earn part of the country, including interstate 40 and 44 being used for dug traffickers.
Cocaine is another drug that is readily available in the state. It is often transported from Mexico and Texas via motor vehicles and commercial airlines. The cocaine HCI is then converted into what is known as crack cocaine to be sold at the retail level. Mexicans and African-American are believed to be the largest traffickers of the drug. Approximately 51.3 kilograms is believed to be in the state.
There is also an increase in the number of club drugs that are being used. Various raves have been found throughout the eastern and central parts of Oklahoma. DEA laboratories have seized a significant amount of MDMA. In 2001, the numbers jumped to 2657 dosage units over the 6 that were collected in 2000. Many of the seizures involved products that originated in Canada.
Since 1995, there have been DEA Mobile enforcement teams that help to deal with the drug-related violent crimes. 359 deployments occurred up until 2002, which resulted in more than 14,000 arrests. There are also various other teams that are deployed throughout the state in an effort to reduce the amount of trafficking. While meth is the largest concern because of the sudden increase, marijuana is one of the most widely used illegal drugs within the state.
The most common form of marijuana found in Oklahoma is that while is called “Sensimilla” and is in a pressed brick form. There have been various groups throughout the state that have been fighting to legalize medicinal marijuana, though it has not passed legislation as of yet. Marijuana is illegal in any form. The penalty for the first offense is one year incarceration with future offenses being between 2 and 10 years of incarceration.
While there is now 20 states plus Washington DC that has legalized the use of medicinal marijuana, there are many within the state of Oklahoma that are trying to prevent the law from being passed.
Drug Programs in the State
While the statistics in Oklahoma are not the best in comparison to other states in the country for drug use, it is not the worst. There are various programs in place to ensure that people are getting the help that they need when they have a drug addiction. There are also programs to help prevent drugs from getting into the wrong hands and to get illicit drugs off the streets.
The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services have a goal to provide improvements within the quality and effectiveness of substance abuse treatment. They want to improve upon the results that people have and embraces the fact that “recovery is a reality.” The SARD division operates 5 state residential treatment facilities and contracts with 84 different substance abuse providers.
There are also drug court programs throughout the state that provide structure for those offenders who do not want to face incarceration for their drug charges.
The state has other programs in place as well, including:
- Lab Pack Program
- Prescription Monitoring Program
- Drug Card Prescription Program
Each program is designed to provide assistance and/or monitoring to the masses. While some drugs are more prevalent in the state than others, there are concerns for both prescription and illicit drugs. There are still programs and laws that the state can enact in order to keep the streets safer.
Drug violence is not severe in comparison to the rest of the country, ranking at 34 out of 50. It is not the violence that the state is worried about but rather the drug-related deaths as well as the number of admissions to the ER as they relate to drug misuse and abuse.
Learning about the drug problem within the state is important for anyone who lives in the state or is thinking about moving to the state. Some areas are more of a problem than others, though there are laws in place to deal with those who break the law.
Begin the Journey to Recovery
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