Drug Abuse Trends in Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City is the capital and largest city of Oklahoma, with approximately 1.3 million residents in the OKC metro area. The city sits along the I-35 Corridor, a major interstate stretching from the US-Mexico border in Laredo, Texas, to Minnesota. Crosswise, I-40 connects the east and west coasts from North Carolina to California. Consequently, Oklahoma City experiences a high amount of drug-trafficking – typically from Mexican drug cartels in the south and west. The result is high rates of illicit substance abuse (particularly methamphetamines).
While Oklahoma ranked number one in prescription painkiller abuse by 2012, rates of opioid overdose remained low in comparison to the national average. Seemingly unique to the region, Alprazolam, also known as Xanax, contributed to 139 overdose deaths – alongside oxycodone and hydrocodone – in 2010.
Even during this time, meth addiction and abuse remained high (there were 99 meth overdose fatalities that same year). By 2016, meth-related overdoses occurred on average once a day; meth killed more individuals than any other substance. A tragic consequence of the rampant drug use in Oklahoma City is that Oklahoma County is now facing one of the most severe outbreaks of syphilis in recent history.
Alcoholism in Oklahoma City
While meth contributes to more deaths, alcohol abuse is more widespread in Oklahoma City. In fact, 77% of Oklahomans with a drug or alcohol addiction can be qualified as having an alcohol use disorder (about 251,000 people). Compared with other states, Oklahoma ranks 6th in alcohol-related deaths and 3rd in underage drinking. In 2014, alcohol-related arrests outpaced every other type of crime (including murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, vehicle theft, and drug-related crimes). Unfortunately, only 7.6% of residents receive alcohol addiction treatment.
Oklahoma City’s surrounding population of Native Americans also suffer particularly high rates of alcoholism. Of 111 alcohol poisoning fatalities, 20 were Native Americans – double the rate for other Oklahomans.
The things that this population has been through have left a number of people feeling a loss of their identity, which leads to … depression, suicide, violence against women, alcohol abuse and diabetes. So, replicating culture into the services that we offer has become a high priority for us so we can help these people identify with their culture, with their tribe, and with their values.
One of Oklahoma’s biggest tribes, the Chickasaw Nation, provides substance abuse treatment in the form of residential drug and alcohol rehab.
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Oklahoma City Addiction Statistics
86% of homicide offenders in Oklahoma were drinking at the time of their offense.
In 2013, alcohol contributed to 633 teen pregnancies in Oklahoma.
Addiction costs the state of Oklahoma $1 billion in excess of its annual budget, topping $7.2 billion.
Addiction Treatment in Oklahoma City
In addition to drug courts, Oklahoma City offers its residents a few options when it comes to recovery. However, high waitlists have prevented some from getting help when they need it. The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services maintains 3 state residential rehab facilities and contracts with over 130 treatment facilities.
Treatment services are located throughout the state and are designed to provide:
- Referral to treatment
- Detox services
- Outpatient counseling
- Residential treatment
- Substance abuse education
- Transitional living
- Aftercare Services
Traveling for Rehab
For those in need of more immediate treatment, or for those who want more options when it comes to care, traveling out of state may be the best choice. Traveling for rehab removes the individual from hometown stressors or triggers of addiction. Also, it allows them to focus on their health and recovery.
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With just 30 days at a rehab center, you can get clean and sober, start therapy, join a support group, and learn ways to manage your cravings.