Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: April 4, 2013
Sen. Rob Standridge
Standridge: Oklahoma must address epidemic of prescription drug
Introducing House Bill 1419 to the Senate Public Safety
Committee on Thursday, Sen. Rob
Standridge said state leaders must acknowledge Oklahoma has
a problem with prescription drug abuse. The Norman Republican said
addressing the issue should be a central priority of the state’s
public health strategy.
Authored by Rep. Richard Morrissette, HB 1419 is a bipartisan effort
to address fraud by strengthening the state’s Prescription
Monitoring Program. The measure won committee approval and will
advance for consideration by the full Senate.
“Prescription drug abuse has emerged as a genuine public health
risk in Oklahoma, and I think it’s critical that we examine
new approaches to address it,” said Standridge. “While
I am a firm believer in the good that pharmaceuticals can do, the
potential negatives speak for themselves. I’m confident this
proposal would have an immediate and positive impact on our state’s
ongoing struggle with prescription drug abuse.”
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, more Oklahomans
are dying due to overdoses of prescription drugs than illicit drugs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rank Oklahoma
among the top states for both prescription painkiller sales and
drug overdose death rates. The CDC also notes that from 2008-09,
1 in 12 Oklahomans age 12 or older used prescription painkillers
for nonmedical purposes.
“With study after study confirming Oklahoma’s rate of
prescription drug abuse outpaces a broad majority of the states,
it’s time for us to fully acknowledge the magnitude of this
challenge,” Standridge said. “Just like illicit drug
abuse, prescription drug abuse has a broad impact on crime rates,
abuse and the deterioration of families. This is one of our state’s
most pressing problems, and we cannot afford to ignore it."
For more information, contact:
Sen. Standridge: (405) 521-5535