For a lot of people, alcohol is seen as an easy coping mechanism after a hard day or even a hard couple of months. However, alcohol is NOT a proper way to deal with stress. If it goes unaddressed, alcohol use disorder can cause health conditions like cancer, dementia, injuries, and memory loss, along with other mental health problems.
Marijuana is often seen as a casual, party drug. When taking without being prescribed, it can cause unwanted consequences like slowed reaction time, increased heart rate, and trouble with balance and coordination. For people with SUD, there is no such thing as “casual” substance use.
Crystal meth is one of the most commonly used substances in Oklahoma. It is extremely addictive. Though it used to be expensive and less available, it’s now readily available on the streets and has become even more dangerous.
Opiods are the most common class of substance involved in Oklahoma overdose deaths. Sadly, the problem is only growing. If the problem isn’t addressed, opioids have the power to unravel families, communities, and even our entire state.
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that is widely available in Oklahoma. Often known as “Coke” or “Crack,” Cocaine produces an intense high and gives the illusion of improved mental alertness and energy. In recent years, drug dealers have begun lacing Cocaine with fentanyl to make it stronger, making the risk of using Cocaine higher than ever, and even potentially deadly.
What can the community do next?
The pandemic disrupted the recovery of tons of Oklahomans with SUD, and led to an increase in all kinds of substance and alcohol usage. As a community, it’s time to speak up, educate, and take action. Right now, our options are clear: educate about the dangers of substance use and help people who are currently using substances into effective treatment. It’s time to be Oklahoma strong.