The Epidemic – Prescription for change

The Epidemic

Drug overdose deaths, particularly opioid-involved deaths, continue to increase in the United States. In fact, more than 115 people every day in the United States die after overdosing on opioids. The number of overdose deaths involving opioids nationwide has increased five-fold since 1990. 

What Are Opioids

Opioids are substances that work on the nervous system in the body or specific receptors in the brain to reduce the intensity of pain. They include drugs such as heroin or even prescription medications like oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine and others. Anyone can become addicted. There can also be increased risk for overdose injury and death.

The Impact in Oklahoma

Opioids are the most common class of drug involved in Oklahoma overdose deaths.  In 2016, 54 percent of all overdose deaths in our state involved an opioid. That’s 437 Oklahomans!  It’s a growing problem and one that is negatively impacting lives…our families, communities and the entire state. It’s also a problem that we can do something about. We need a prescription for change in Oklahoma. It is up to all of us to be part of the solution and help prevent and treat the issue of opioid addiction.

Opioid Facts

  • From 1999 to 2016, more than 630,000 people have died from a drug overdose.
  • Around 66% of the more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in 2016 involved an opioid.
  • In 2016, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and illegal opioids like heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl) was 5 times higher than in 1999.
  • On average, 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.


Opioids are substances  that interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the body and brain. They include drugs such as heroin, or synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. They also include prescription medications such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine and many others.  Opioids are addictive.




  • MS-Contin®
  • Duramorph®
  • DepoDur®
  • Astramorph®


  • Dolphin®
  • Methadone®


  • Dilaudid®
  • Exalgo®


  • Actiq®
  • Duragesic®
  • Ventura®


  • ConZip®
  • Ultram®


  • Only available in generic form.


  • OxyContin®
  • Oxecta®
  • Roxicodone®


      • Lortab®
      • Vicodin®
      • Lorcet®
      • Norco®


  • Dilaudid®
  • Exalgo®

Other Resources to Learn More About Opioids

These web links may be will help you learn more about opioids: