Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: May 13, 2013
Standridge: Oklahoma can be a leader in combating prescription
Standridge this week said the state of Oklahoma has an opportunity
to establish itself as a leader in addressing the growing problem
of prescription drug abuse. While many studies show prescription
drug abuse is a growing trend across the country, the Centers for
Disease Control (CDC) rank Oklahoma among the top states for both
prescription painkiller sales and drug overdose death rates.
Standridge, who is also a pharmacist, said the scope of the state’s
problem makes it a pressing public health concern with growing consequences.
The Norman Republican was recently featured in a PBS Newshour segment
about legislative efforts to address the issue. Standridge is Senate
author of House Bill 1419, a bipartisan effort to strengthen the
state’s prescription monitoring program.
“Our tendency to use prescription drugs early and easily is
contributing to this growing problem, which is taking a tremendous
toll on our state,” said Standridge, R-Norman. “With
methamphetamine abuse in teens and adults at very troubling levels,
we must also examine the role prescription drug use might play in
this problem. It’s important that we have an open dialogue
about this issue, which demands a response from state leaders.”
HB 1419 provides for real-time reporting to physicians by the Oklahoma
Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (OBNDD). The agency will
be able to send a message flagging patients when they attempt to
fill typically abused prescription drugs repeatedly. The measure
has been approved by both houses of the Legislature, but has been
referred to a House conference committee for further consideration.
The bill is scheduled for the House Conference Committee on Public
Health, on Monday, May 13.
“As a culture, it is time for us to have a frank discussion
about the issue,” Standridge said. “If society dictates
a problem that may be solved through non-pharmaceutical means demands
treatment with powerful drugs, then society may be at fault. As
we drift further in this direction, we open the door toward more
widespread abuse. House Bill 1419 is an important step toward controlling
the problem, but it is only a step – this is an issue that
demands a broader response from the Legislature.”
For more information, contact:
Sen. Standridge: (405) 521-5535