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Overdose Prevention

Great strides have been made to reduce prescription opioid-related overdoses in Oklahoma, yet a drug overdose crisis remains. Methamphetamine and illicit fentanyl are currently the leading substances involved. Preventing deaths and nonfatal overdoses, regardless of substance, requires a multifaceted approach rooted in collective action to address the range of social, economic, demographic, and environmental factors that influence substance use.

Although the rate of unintentional drug overdose deaths decreased 20% from 2016 to 2019 in Oklahoma, the rate increased 28% from 2019 to 2020. Methamphetamine is the most common substance involved in drug overdose deaths in Oklahoma - involved in nearly two-thirds of drug overdose deaths in 2020. Methamphetamine overdose deaths increased 12-fold from 2007 to 2020 - from 39 to 470 deaths, respectively.

From 2007 to 2016, prescription opioids were the most common type of drug involved in drug overdose deaths in Oklahoma. The rate of unintentional prescription opioid overdose death decreased 68% from 2013 to 2019. From 2019 to 2020, the number of fentanyl overdose deaths more than doubled - from 47 deaths in 2019 to 127 in 2020. Fentanyl was involved in nearly half of all opioid-related deaths, compared to 10-20% annually in previous years. Prior to 2020, Oklahoma saw an increase in illicitly manufactured fentanyl and heroin-related overdose deaths, but not at the scale of other states.

Opioid Prescribing Guidelines

Safe Use, Storage & Disposal

Signs & Symptoms of an Overdose

Data & Resources

How to Get Help

Naloxone Information

Remember:

  • Only take medications as prescribed.
  • Never share or sell prescription drugs.
  • Properly dispose of unused, unneeded, or expired medications. 
  • Secure your medications to avoid theft.
  • Naloxone is a safe and effective drug that reverses an opioid overdose. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Opioid Basics:

  • Prescription opioids can be prescribed by doctors to treat moderate to severe pain, but can also have serious risks and side effects.
  • Common types are oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab, Norco), morphine, and methadone.
  • Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid painkiller. It is many times more powerful than other opioids and is approved for treating severe pain, typically advanced cancer pain.
  • Illegally made and distributed fentanyl has been on the rise in several states.
  • Heroin is an illegal opioid. Heroin use has increased across the U.S. among men and women, most age groups, and all income levels.

Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Oklahoma State Department of Health
Injury Prevention Service
123 Robert S. Kerr. Ave Suite 1702
Oklahoma City, OK 73102-6406

Physical Address:
Oklahoma State Department of Health
123 Robert S. Kerr. Ave
Oklahoma City, OK

Telephone: 405.426.8440
Fax: 405.900.7588