The Norman Transcript

Opinion

May 5, 2012

Our long war on drugs

NORMAN — State narcotics bureau director Darrell Weaver works with more than 17,000 Oklahoma health care providers who have prescribing authority. His agency’s job is a balancing act, trying to assure Oklahomans they can have access to legal drugs but not overprescribing to feed addictions and resale mills.

The agency and other law enforcement officials work with providers but they’re not afraid of tackling them either. A federal grand jury recently returned a 53-count indictment alleging that an Oklahoma City psychiatrist illegally distributed controlled substances to eight individuals, which resulted in the death of five of them.

That doctor was recently arrested in Germany. Mr. Weaver, who spoke to a Norman civic club this past week, said Oklahoma leads the nation in the per capita use of prescription drugs and is ninth highest in prescription drug overdose deaths.

Indeed, prescription drug abuse is a growing problem nationwide. More people died from prescription overdoses last year than automobile accidents. Drug roundups by state and local law enforcement agencies may help keep them out of teen’s hands but getting a handle on patients who doctor shop is the key.

The state’s pharmacy network, along with a system that allows doctors to see what a patient has had filled, should help law enforcement and the medical community face the problem head-on.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Noting a life well lived

    James Garner never intended to be a movie and television star. He just kind of lucked into it, he would tell those who asked. If you have the itch to act, get a good-paying job and spend your free time at your local community theater, he ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Recount that really matters

    Americans have been hearing a lot about Congressional elections, but there’s another one halfway around the globe that will matter far more....

    July 22, 2014

  • Runoffs get no respect

    The Aug. 26 Republican runoff election for the Cleveland County District 3 commissioner post is one of only 18 races on ballots around the state. Only two races are statewide — the Democrat contests for U.S. Senator nominee and state ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Change some lines

    Editor, The Transcript: Looking at how our elected Republican friends are reacting to the refugee children crossing the border and now being housed in Lawton, I have a suggestion. Let’s edit the Christian Bible in several places to reflect ...

    July 21, 2014

  • New health care system demonized

    To the Editor: In October 2013, soon after we were asked to take over management responsibilities at our family business, we were visited by the company’s health insurance agent. She explained that a decision needed to be made regarding ...

    July 21, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • The longer the wait, the higher the cost

    Editor, The Transcript: Thanks for the great article of July 3 on the Norman chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby group that recently went to D.C. as citizen lobbyists, working to get a revenue-neutral carbon pollution fee, refunded in ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014