Leading the list of Prescription Monitoring Program prescriptions and overdose contributors are three popular pharmaceuticals: hydrocodone, an opiod painkiller sold under the brand names Lortab, Vicodin, Vicoprofen, Norco and Tussionex; oxycodone, another opiod painkiller sold as OxyContin and Percoset, and alprazolam, an anti-anxiety drug marketed as Xanax.
Oklahoma pharmacies filled nearly 10 million prescriptions for narcotic painkillers and other controlled dangerous substances last year, according to newly obtained state data. Those prescriptions - an average of 68 per patient, including refills - contained 597 million doses of painkillers, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, steroids and other controlled pharmaceuticals tracked by the state's Prescription Monitoring Program.
Several states are now trying to tackle what they see as a serious public health concern. Oklahoma is one of the leading states on that front, as PBS Newshour health correspondent Betty Ann Bowser reports.
At age 22, college football player Austin Box had suffered a slew of painful injuries. Two weeks after his graduation, he overdosed on a lethal cocktail of pain medications, none of which he had been prescribed. Health correspondent Betty Ann Bowser reports on the perils of painkillers and the difficulty of combating abuse.
Four Norman High School students have been taken to a Norman hospital after apparently taking prescription drugs at the school.
District spokeswoman Shelly Hickman says the students appeared under the influence of drugs late Monday morning. She said they did not appear to be in a life-threatening condition and were taken to Norman Regional Hospital as a precaution.