Five years later: Voters still waiting for SQ 781’s investments in mental health, substance use disorders

Though the Legislature has again failed to fund the treatments that SQ 781 statutorily required, we know that justice reform has measurably reduced the prison population and that mental health remains severely underfunded. [More...]

SB 511 creates a legal path for harm reduction in Oklahoma (Guest Post)

Senate Bill 511, which was signed into law by Gov. Stitt, creates pathways to decrease preventable overdose deaths while supporting Oklahomans with substance use disorders. [More...]

Medicaid expansion could help address Oklahoma’s surging meth crisis

In 2017, methamphetamine (also known as speed or ice) was one of the main contributors to Oklahoma’s overdose deaths. It’s difficult to recover from methamphetamine addiction — most individuals relapse within their first year of treatment. Medicaid expansion would allow the state to serve lower-income populations that are affected by meth use by making addiction treatment available to a greater portion of the state. [More...]

Substance use disorders are a public health crisis in Oklahoma. Expanding health care coverage will help.

Accepting federal funds to expand access to health care--which Oklahoma has not done-- is one of the most effective tools states have to combat the opioid crisis and other forms of addiction. Expanding access to care will provide Oklahomans with a pathway to recovery and make Oklahoma a healthier state. [More...]

Updating drug courts is important, but Oklahoma must invest in all forms of substance abuse treatment

In the wake of the passage of SQ 780, which reclassified simple drug possession as a misdemeanor, legislators and advocates began to discuss how the state should adjust its approach to substance abuse. Among the most pressing questions was what… Read more [More...]

What works to stop crime (hint: it’s not incarceration)

The debate surrounding criminal justice reform in Oklahoma generally focuses on one question: How do we reduce our very high incarceration rates without jeopardizing public safety? As Gov. Fallin said about her Justice Reform Task Force’s proposals during the 2017 legislative… Read more [More...]

Oklahoma is missing a big opportunity to improve mental illness and addiction treatment

One of the most successful ways that’s been found to help people escape from opioid addiction is through medications that partially mimic the effect of more dangerous opioids while causing less intoxication and less physical dependence. Despite the success of… Read more [More...]

Prescription monitoring bill is a good first step. It’s also not enough.

Last year, we argued that the legislature had missed an opportunity by punting on a bill that would have required doctors to check the state’s prescription monitoring program (PMP) before writing a prescription for some of the most dangerous drugs,… Read more [More...]

Opportunity Missed: the Prescription Monitoring Program in Oklahoma

Prescription drug abuse is an epidemic in Oklahoma. In 2012, Oklahoma ranked first nationwide for painkiller addiction, fifth for deaths due to drug overdoses, and fifth for number of painkiller prescriptions written. Preliminary data from the Bureau of Narcotics and… Read more [More...]

Oklahoma’s biggest drug problem isn’t what you think

UPDATE: Download our fact sheet about prescription drug abuse in Oklahoma here. New National Vital Statistics data released early this month showed that the American life expectancy has reached a record high: a child born in 2009 has a life… Read more [More...]