Skip to comments.Painkiller Addiction in Oklahoma
Posted on 05/28/2013 3:19:22 PM PDT by DBCJR
Last year the Center for Disease Control called prescription painkiller addiction an epidemic in the country, identifying Oklahoma as leading the nation in both the addiction and related deaths. It is only fitting that the battle against such addiction in "Native America" be led by three tribal owned clinics, Absentee Shawnee Counseling Services, OKC; Keetoowah Cherokee Treatment Services, Tulsa; and Quapaw Counseling Services, Miami.
Generally speaking, prescription painkillers are opiates. There are 14 Opioid Treatment Programs in Oklahoma certified by the Federal agency SAMHSA CSAT, including the Veterans Hospital in Oklahoma City. The importance of these OTPs revolves around SAMHSA's findings that the Medication Assisted Treatment is 70-75% effective with opiate addiction, while traditional substance abuse treatment is 6-10% effective. This 8-9 times more effective treatment can often skip inpatient detox, avoiding the expense, time off from work and away from family, and the waiting list to get admitted.
Remarkable as it is that Native tribes own three of these best practice programs, one of them was selected by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs to video for their agents and other providers to learn how these programs should be run. "All three programs were designed and set up in the same fashion, operating in the same manner. You will find the same level of excellence at all three clinics," asserted Dan Cross, Executive Director, Absentee Shawnee Counseling Services, OKC. "Tribes lead the assault against this epidemic in Native America," referring to the state of Oklahoma. All three tribal programs serve both Native and Non-Native adults and accept Medicaid.
"Natives have lead the way in holistic approaches to health and environmental concerns, not as a recent development, but from their ancient ways," noted Cross. "Whether it be herbal medicine that modern medical science has replicated pharmacologically, or holistic approaches to well-being that our best practices emulate, Native people have preceded modern technology," Cross observed. Now, it seems, Natives are leading the solution for this deadly wave of addiction sweeping over Oklahoma.
Center for Disease Control http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/rxbrief/
SAMHSA Treat Improvement Protocol 43 http://www.samhsa.gov/samhsanewsletter/volume_16_number_6/tip43.aspx
SAMHSA OTP Directory http://dpt2.samhsa.gov/treatment/directory.aspx
Absentee Shawnee Counseling Services http://ascs-okc.com/
I was on a job in OK, and at the time had scrip for Vicodin. I called my Illinois doctor and asked if he would send it to the chain pharmacy we use in El Reno. Normally, I just walked in and verified my address. When they called and told me to go and pick it up, I had to show ID and explain to the pharmacist why I wasn’t getting it at my normal store.
He said there is at least one attempt a day to fraudulently obtain it..
I’m surprised they didn’t ask for a blood sample. They’re pretty rough on Vicodin.
The situation is already wildly out of control. Recently the drug companies have begun reformulating their drugs to make them harder to abuse, and there has been a crackdown on the availability.
An estimated 20 million people were using opiate and synthetic opiate drugs “recreationally”, with an unknown number addicted. In short order, they discovered that very expensive $50-100 a pill black market drugs can be replaced by heroin at a quarter of that price. It is a stronger drug, too.
Immediately, in the “hillbilly zone” from Tennessee to Virginia, where the prescription drugs were popular, there was a big jump in heroin overdoses. Next in the suburbs of Chicago, the Pacific northwest, Florida, Maine and southern California. Basically nationwide, the number of heroin addicts is skyrocketing.
The heroin, “Mexican brown”, is common and cheap, and while addicts think they will just smoke it or snort it, within two weeks they are injecting it.
Demographically, the junkies are a worry, because they are not poor people, but middle and upper middle class, with money, political power, and determination. If they want heroin, they will get heroin.
In “Native America”???
More like a forced death march and everyone just kinda got tire and left the East Coast Tribes in the middle of no where in a land they knew nothing about.
I got my wisdom teeth pulled and they gave me some Vicodin. I used it and it removed my pain. I got a bad headache at the end of the healing process and I took one and it relieved the pain like nothing I have ever taken. I can see how people with pain become addicted because it removes it so fast. Get someone with a constant back problem and I can see how it could happen.
What did We tell you about splitting infinitives? Your mother would be appalled.
My sister would be the perfect example of that. She has had back problems (exasperated by a botched back operation) for many years. Only the Vicodin she takes makes her life bearable.
The related deaths might be a hint.
Also, if the addiction rate is higher in Native American populations, that might explain Oklahoma’s situation.
My comments and concerns were regarding legally prescribed prescription drugs. Our government has a tendency to throw out the baby with the bathwater. I can just imagine a scenario where the druggies continue to obtain their illegal drugs but people with legitimate unremitting pain are denied legitimate drugs.
No, heroin is not legal. And while opiate and synthetic opiate drugs work, they are also exceedingly addictive.
If you consider that even Rush Limbaugh became addicted to these drugs, addiction is not a sign of moral failure.
However, when you cut an addict off from their drug, in this case, their pharmaceutical drugs, they experience agonizing withdrawal. By this point, often the first time they realize that they are addicted, most people need professional help to get off their drug.
However, professional help will take them off their drug, so they already know how agonizing it is going to be. So many prefer to buy illegal pharma, or even resort to illegal heroin, which is a lot cheaper.
So don’t think of them as a drag on society, but as people who got caught up with something stronger than they were.
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