Opioids And Overdose Deaths In Oklahoma

Oklahoma residents have battled the opioid epidemic for over two decades. Those struggling with the abuse of prescription pain medications have been forced to turn to deadlier street drugs, including heroin and fentanyl.

Opioid abuse became so bad in Oklahoma that the state sued major pharmaceutical manufacturers for failing to warn about the associated risks. Oklahoma won a historic settlement of $572 million in 2019 and reached other settlements in various opioid-related lawsuits.

Some drug-related facts from Oklahoma include:

  • From 2013 to 2017, over 1,900 Oklahoma residents died of an opioid-related overdose.
  • Around four out of five overdose deaths involve at least one prescription opioid.
  • More people in Oklahoma die from prescription opioids than all illicit drugs combined.
  • Overdoses involving methamphetamine have increased in the last several years.
  • In 2017 alone, 775 Oklahoma residents died from a drug-related overdose.
  • Over 300 Oklahoma residents died from a meth overdose in 2017.
  • In 2018, an estimated 43 percent of all drug-related overdose deaths involved opioids.

Oklahoma City And Tulsa Facts And Statistics

Between 2013 and 2017, 730 Oklahoma County residents died of a drug-related overdose. During this same timeframe, 661 Tulsa County residents suffered a fatal overdose.

The substances associated with fatal overdoses in these cities and counties include:

  • methamphetamine
  • alcohol
  • prescription opioids
  • alprazolam (Xanax)
  • heroin
  • fentanyl
  • cocaine

Other facts from Tulsa County and Oklahoma County between 2013 and 2017 include:

  • adults age 35-54 recorded the highest death rate in Oklahoma County
  • adults age 45-64 recorded the highest death rate in Tulsa County
  • almost 40 percent of people who died had a history of mental health issues in Tulsa County, and 28 percent of the deceased in Oklahoma County struggled with mental health
  • around 60 percent of people who died in both areas had a history of substance abuse

A significant number of overdose deaths in both regions occurred in a home or apartment, which suggests social isolation may have played a role. If you live in one of Oklahoma’s largest cities and struggle with addiction, it’s crucial you reach out for help and support.

American Indians And Addiction In Oklahoma

Oklahoma is home to 38 federally recognized tribal nations, which is one of the largest tribal populations in the country. From the Osage Nation to the Choctaw, Potawatomi, Comanche, Kickapoo, and others, tribal citizens make up a significant portion of Oklahoma’s population.

Unfortunately, American Indians experience addiction rates at a much higher percentage than other ethnicities. This population is uniquely susceptible to violence, mental health disorders, and other negative environmental factors.

These factors, coupled with past historical trauma, contribute to the risk of substance abuse and mental health problems: more than 15,000 American Indians in Oklahoma received state-funded mental health services in 2019, but less than 3,000 received services for substance abuse.

Veterans And Addiction In Oklahoma

Over 300,000 veterans live in the state of Oklahoma. As of 2017, veterans make up over 10 percent of the state’s population.

Nearly half of these veterans are over the age of 65, but there are also 47,000 active service members living in Oklahoma. However, as a state, Oklahoma may not have the resources to meet the needs of this population.

There are only two inpatient facilities devoted to caring for veterans in Oklahoma. While there are several more outpatient clinics and a few VA centers in Oklahoma, veterans struggling with substance abuse likely require comprehensive inpatient or residential care.

Oklahoma Substance Abuse Resources

The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS), as well as other government agencies, work hard to improve the quality and accessibility of addiction treatment in this state.

ODMHSAS-funded substance abuse services include:

ODMHSAS also provides specialized programs for those in the criminal justice system, women with children, Hispanics, adolescents, and American Indians.

Some additional facts about state-funded treatment include:

  • almost 200,000 Oklahomans received publicly funded mental health services in 2019, but only 33,312 received substance abuse services
  • ODMHSAS partners with 130 treatment centers, but only operates three state-funded residential treatment centers

Although ODMHSAS provides resources, the people of Oklahoma cannot put off addiction treatment. Substance use disorder is a chronic disease that requires immediate care, individualized treatment, and an ongoing community of support.

Why Oklahoma Residents Should Choose Vertava Health Texas

While recovery services are available in Oklahoma, resources are limited. To meet the growing treatment needs of Oklahoma residents, Vertava Health Texas in East Texas is open and here is help.

Here’s why our facility could be an option for you:

  • Many treatment centers in Oklahoma are state-funded, leading to overcrowding and waiting lists.
  • It’s estimated that between 700,000 and 950,000 Oklahoma adults need services, with about 11 percent of the population struggling and in need.
  • Oklahoma lacks treatment centers that provide outdoor recreation and freedom of space, and most inpatient treatment centers in Oklahoma are located in city environments.
  • Vertava Health Texas is located about an hour and a half from the Oklahoma state line and is only four hours from Oklahoma City and five hours from Tulsa.

Our facility is situated on over 65 peaceful acres, putting your mind at ease as you focus on recovery. We provide individualized treatment plans, recreational activities, evidence-based treatment, and more.

Please contact us today if you’re interested in treatment, or learn more about:

  • addiction and drug overdose in Oklahoma and its largest cities
  • the populations most affected
  • available state resources

To learn more about how we treat addiction, please contact us today.