Speak to a caring addiction specialist today! (800) 940-4250

View All Listings
(800) 940-4250
Live Chat



Prescription Drug Addiction in Oklahoma

Prescription drug addiction in Oklahoma continues to be a serious problem. In 2012, Oklahoma was ranked No. 1 in prescription painkiller abuse in the nation, according to NewsOK.com. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, by 2014 Oklahoma was not even in the top 10 anymore for states for the highest drug overdose rates, which were attributed to both prescription opioids and heroin. The rate of overdoses was still very high, though, at 20.3 percent of all mortalities in 2014 for Oklahoma. Prescription drug addiction in Oklahoma is on the rise for a very vulnerable part of their demographics—the youth aged 12 to 25. Oklahoma ranked 14th in the nation for the highest youth overdose rates, according to The Oklahoman in 2011 through 2013, tripling their rate in a very short time. Yet, much of this data focuses solely on prescription painkillers, not even paying attention to other forms of prescription drugs that are also abused: prescription stimulants and sedatives. There are many different forms of prescription drug addiction in Oklahoma and they each need to have individual, customized treatment for the type of drug that is being abused.

Why Are Prescription Drugs So Popular Among Youth?

It doesn’t matter whether it is a prescription painkiller or a sleep sedative that a teenager swipes from the family’s medicine cabinet; there are severe consequences to prescription drug addiction in Oklahoma that may be overlooked by people abusing the drugs. The fact that a doctor did prescribe the medication gives it the false image of being a “safe” drug, unlike other forms of street drugs, like heroin. However, prescription painkillers and heroin are both opioids and have the same capability to hook a person who abuses the drug. Even relatively benign drugs like Ritalin and Adderall, which are given to children for ADHD, can be very habit-forming and hard to quit due to serious withdrawal symptoms. There really is no “safe” drug when it comes to potent medications that should only be taken under a doctor’s supervision.

How Each Class of Drug Works and Why It’s Addictive

Prescription drugs can help manage particular conditions that may be hard to deal with on a daily basis otherwise. However, if a person becomes addicted to them, they can lose control over when and how much they take. This can lead to a potential overdose as the person builds up a tolerance for the type of high they are trying to achieve with the drug. In particular, prescription opioids are quite dangerous this way as they depress the respiratory system and can cause a person to stop breathing. Yet, even the other two class of prescription drugs, sedatives and stimulants, also come with their own set of dangers.


Prescription Opioids – These are prescribed to help manage chronic pain or before or after a surgical procedure. Their chemical properties are similar to those of heroin, which numbs pain but also produces a euphoric feeling. It’s this feeling that drug addicts go after when they start to abuse Vicodin or OxyContin, two brand names for prescription painkillers. However, once the prescription runs out, the person will be forced to buy the pills on the street at very high prices. Many times the addict will simply switch to heroin, which is much cheaper and produces a similar high.

Sedatives – This class of drugs is used to calm people’s nerves or to help them sleep. Ambien and Lunesta are two brand names of sleep drugs for people trying to overcome insomnia and other sleep disorders. Xanax is a brand drug used to help people suffering from anxiety and panic attacks. Even though they are prescribed by doctors, people can suffer from a variety of symptoms when they stop taking them, not the least of which is that the original condition returns, such as sleeplessness or a panic disorder. Thus, they can be very habit-forming. People can end up experiencing nausea, depression and double vision upon withdrawal with these types of medications. They can even become suicidal.

Stimulants – The prescription stimulants have almost the same effect on the system as cocaine. They produce an alert state with a boost of energy. For people suffering with ADHD, it can be just what they need to stay focused. However, for those people who are abusing the drug and get hooked, withdrawal symptoms are similar to cocaine as well. They can end up with a stroke or heart attack at worst, or a panic attack at best.

Get Treatment for Prescription Drug Addiction in Oklahoma

One of the ways Oklahoma tries to make it easy for people to get treatment is by offering different cost alternatives from sliding scales to insurance coverage for rehab. They want to make sure that those that need help, get it so that those with a prescription drug addiction in Oklahoma will be encouraged to detox and attend meetings to get educated on how to beat their addiction. They can also get private counseling or group therapy, with friends and family members who may have been affected by their disease. Most prescription drug abuse cases will need to have some sort of supervision and medical intervention to help them manage the withdrawal symptoms, which can be deadly. Long-term medical detox may be required in the case of opioids that take a long time to get out of the system safely. Detox can involve putting a person on methadone to wean them off slowly from opioids without triggering drastic withdrawal symptoms. Rehab can take from 30 to 90 days to complete successfully, independent of the type of addiction.

Don’t let embarrassment or cost keep you or your loved ones from getting help. Prescription drug addiction in Oklahoma is a common problem with very real solutions out there, if you only take a few minutes to contact a treatment addiction center. Get on the road to recovery and find a new life by taking action before it is too late.