Three convenient locations were available to area Oklahomans to safely dispose of unwanted prescription drugs and medications on Saturday between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.—the Reasor’s parking lots at 71st and Sheridan; the Reasor’s parking lot at 41st and Yale; and the Save-A-Lot parking lot at Pine and Lewis.
Nearly two Oklahomans die every day due to prescription drug overdose; and it is the leading cause of death for Oklahomans 25 to 64 years of age. Oklahoma ranks fifth in the nation for drug overdose deaths, and studies reveal that those abusing prescription drugs commonly get them from family and friends.
Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartley focused on prescription drug abuse as a key issue in his Safer, Stronger Tulsa safety series. He expressed the city of Tulsa’s commitment to addressing prescription drug abuse, noting it impacts public safety, and affects the quality of life for people in the community. The Mayor further noted that drug take-back events are a critical part of addressing prescription drug abuse while providing Tulsa residents a way to properly dispose of medications.
The Tulsa Prescription Drug Take-Back event was conducted by the Tulsa Police Department, Tulsa County Medical Society, the Coalition Against Prescription and Substance Abuse of Tulsa (CAPSAT), Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, and the City of Tulsa Water & Sewer Department.
Tulsa residents—and all Oklahomans—are urged not to flush prescription drugs and other medications down toilets, but to dispose of them properly. Wastewater treatment plants do no remove the chemicals found in many prescription drugs and medications, and these chemicals can end-up in streams and groundwater when not properly disposed of.
Any time of the years, Tulsa residents can take unwanted, unused and expired prescription drugs to the Tulsa county Sheriff’s Office, and any one of the three Tulsa Police Division Headquarters.
On Friday, May 15th, the day prior to the Tulsa Prescription Drug-Take Back event, the reigning Mrs. America, Michelle Evans, spoke at the OSU Center for Health Services, sharing her personal story on the devastation that addiction can cause. A native of Tulsa, Mrs. Evans joined a panel of guests, including Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics representatives, in a Q & A session following her keynote speech. Attendance was free-of –charge, including a complimentary lunch.]]>
In 2010, the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women reported 45 percent of women incarcerated in Oklahoma prisons were there because of drug-related crimes. The most common offense was drug possession.
Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry signed legislation in 2010 designed to address the state’s high female incarceration rate by creating a non-violent offender prison-diversion program for women. In reviewing parole applications numbering in the thousands, Henry estimated that up to 95 percent of the women were involved in substance abuse-related crimes such as robbery or burglary to support their addiction.
Based on information from the United Way, 300 women annually are incarcerated by the state of Oklahoma, leaving 536 children displaced. Sadly, those children may very well become the next generation of inmates.
Oklahoma needs a better solution than incarceration for women who have fallen into the trap of substance abuse. Outcome-based treatment and an educational approach to rehabilitation that empowers women with job skills and life skills could go far in breaking the drug-prison cycle, and the harm caused to Oklahoma children and families
An online Tulsa’s Channel 8 article featured the local Women in Recovery program. Sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the program “helps troubled women find therapy, rehab and jobs”, and change their lives for the better.
Paula Marshall, a company CEO, partnered five years ago with Women in Recovery in an effort to help formerly incarcerated women in-need. Marshall has found that these women meet the challenges of difficult work shifts, doing everything they can in order to keep their job—and to grow as a person.
Marshall has seen that the Women in Recovery program “means the difference” between a woman getting the chance to pick herself up and move forward, or to go on living a life of crime. To date, she has seen nine women go through the Women in Recovery program.
Based on her experience, Marshall suggests that Oklahoma needs to “look at changing laws”—laws incarcerating more women than in any other state. She notes that the State of Oklahoma should consider spending more funds on rehabilitation—rather than incarceration.
Its success is a breath of fresh air, and the Women in Recovery Program recently expanded, moving to a new building where even more women can get help—and another chance at life.
ReMerge, a diversion program, gives pregnant offenders and mothers an alternative to prison, offering help through drug treatment, education, and employment services. As of last year, 20 Oklahoma county women had completed the ReMerge program, and approximately 50 more women were in the process.
According to ReMerge Board of Director’s member, Ginny Bass Carl, the primary goal of the program is to stop the cycle of incarceration. She notes that program participants are not only examples of how drug addiction can be approached as treatable and gives non-violent female offenders a chance at rehabilitation; it also saves the State of Oklahoma thousands of dollars.
As of 2014, Oklahoma still incarcerated more women per capita than any other state, with just over 8,000 women languishing behind bars.]]>
Drug Courts Save is the 2015 theme for National Drug Court Month, and sets aside the month of May to focus on its beneficial contributions to individuals and society. The Drug Courts Save theme encompasses saving lives, saving veterans, saving families, saving America’s roadways from drunk drivers, and saving resources.
National Drug Court Month this year also focuses on uniting the Drug Court Community, policymakers, and the public.
A field kit is available on the NADCP website to help in planning National Drug Court Month events in communities across the nation, and offers their assistance in helping make community events a success.
The first Drug Court was founded 20 years ago, and since that time, more research on Drug Court effects have been published than nearly all criminal justice programs put together. Scrutinized by the scientific community, Drug Courts have demonstrated that they work.
Research results show Drug Courts work better than prison or jail; better than probation; and better than treatment alone. Drug Courts have demonstrated they markedly reduce drug use. They significantly reduce crime. And Drug Courts have demonstrated they are more cost-effective; withstanding cost comparison to other proven criminal justice strategies.
Drug Courts work in reducing crime:
Drug Courts work in saving money:
Furthermore, a report submitted to Congress in 2012 by the U.S. Government Accountability Office confirmed that Drug Courts reduce substance abuse, reduce crime, and save money. On a national basis, Drug Courts give a $27 return to the community for every investment of $1; and reduce crime by up to 50%.
Interestingly enough, studies further reveal that the more serious the person’s drug addiction, and the longer their criminal record—the better the Drug Courts work. Reducing jail-time, and reducing family conflicts connected to domestic violence and child abuse are proven Drug Court results.
More than 2,900 Drug Courts across the nation celebrate National Drug Court this May. The thousands of addicts entering the criminal justice system, and face with jail or prison time, will complete Drug Court. It is their opportunity to once again become a productive participant in society, thus making it a better world for us all.]]>
It may be true that on the outside the individual appears to be operating somewhat normally in their life, but the plain fact is that their understanding of their own life is that it is nothing short of a total and unending nightmare. Where once they turned to drugs for help in a time of difficulty, they have since become a complete and utter slave to these chemical substances, judging their every thought, decision and action by how well it will enable them to continue obtaining and using drug substances.
While very few may actually admit it openly, many drug addicts are aware of the fact that they have a problem with drug substances and they need help. They may even make some attempts to stop their drug use on their own or get help from others. However, without intensive and professional rehabilitation treatment, such attempts often end in failure and the individual may become more and more certain that they will never be able to live a drug-free life again. In some cases, the individual may even begin to hope and pray for death as a way out of the addiction nightmare that has taken over their entire life. Fortunately, there are ways they can successfully take their life back.
Before John arrived at Narconon he was addicted to heroin, but no one in his life knew about it. Despite his crushing need for heroin in order to function all day and every day, John had managed to keep it a secret from everyone around him. He was functioning and everything in his life appeared to be going well, but he knew the truth was far from this apparency. He knew that he was very sick and that every single day was a terrible battle just to get and use more drugs. There was no doubt in John’s mind that he had a horrible problem that would eventually take his life. He tried many, many times to sever his connection with heroin, all to no avail, and he became used to the fact that his life was just a horrible nightmare.
John arrived at Narconon Arrowhead and began his rehabilitation treatment with the sauna detoxification program. It was about halfway through this portion of his program that John began to notice great improvements. He started feeling revitalized – like he had more energy. Running on the treadmill every day was no longer as difficult, and he began to feel more and more like his old self. He is happy to report that things just got better from there on.
Having now completed the Narconon program, John knows that he can walk back into his life and live it the way he truly wants to. Life itself is much the same as it once was, only now he has the tools he needs to live it really well. He knows how to communicate with people and how to do his job better. Most importantly, he knows with absolute certainty that he doesn’t need to use drugs ever again. He is enjoying his new, healthy life, and he is grateful to Narconon for helping him to not only save but improve it.