This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Prescription drugs can be a lifeline for those who need them. For those who abuse them, the consequences are dire.

Currently there is a prescription drug abuse epidemic, and in Oklahoma, drug overdose deaths have tripled since 1999. The majority of them are from prescription drugs.

Prescription drug abuse is a problem across the nation. More than half of the states are not doing enough to stop the dangerous activity.
Oklahoma ranks 5th for the highest drug overdose death rate in the country.

Joining Linda Cavanaugh in our KFOR studios is Darrell Weaver from the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and he wants that ranking to drop.

Our state has started initiatives to stop the trend with:

– Real time prescription monitoring program
– Drug take-back program
– Requiring an ID to be shown to refill

Weaver says the following strategies are being used to fight drug abuse on a national level:

– Prescription drug monitoring programs
– Support for substance abuse treatment
– Educating doctors who prescribe pain medication