For Release: August 30, 2017 Contact: Tony Sellars, 405-271-5601
Prescription drug abuse is Oklahoma’s largest drug problem and International Overdose Awareness Day aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. Almost 10 people die every week of a prescription drug overdose in Oklahoma. Prescription painkillers (opioids) are the most common class of drugs involved in overdose deaths in Oklahoma, involving more than 80% of prescription drug-related deaths. In recent years, the numbers of unintentional poisoning deaths have surpassed deaths from motor vehicle crashes. More unintentional poisoning deaths involve prescription painkillers than alcohol and all illicit drugs combined. Adults aged 35-54 years have the highest death rate of any age group for prescription overdoses over time.
International Overdose Awareness Day spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable. OSDH asks you to wear silver to show your support.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health’s (OSDH) Injury Prevention Service offers the following suggestions for preventing prescription drug overdoses:
If you suspect someone is experiencing an overdose, react to this true emergency by calling 911 immediately.
Prescription drug overdose prevention is supported by federal dollars from the Preventive Health Services division within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Grant # 2B01OT009043).