Local & Regional
12:10 pm
Mon September 21, 2009

Painkillers Up

Oklahoma City, OK – Painkiller use up in state

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Drug enforcement officials in Oklahoma say pain pills are moving past marijuana as a "gateway" drug for young people.

The state has two regions Oklahoma and Tulsa counties among the top 15 areas of greatest prescription misuse.

The Oklahoma Prescription Monitoring Program says data shows that supplies of prescription pain medication in Oklahoma more than doubled over a four-year period ending in 2006.

Officials say more young people are trying the drugs and that many get them from friends.

Officials say that in 2008 there were more than 600 prescription drug-related deaths in Oklahoma. But many people aren't aware of the problem that prescription drug abuse poses until someone close to them dies.

___

Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com