LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -The Oklahoma State Department of Health conducted a prescription drug overdose community training session at the Great Plains Technology Center.
The event was aimed at educating school nurses, counselors, administrators, resource officers and others about the issues of prescription drug abuse. Prescription drug abuse has risen dramatically in Oklahoma, with 5,300 unintentional poisoning deaths in the state last year, with almost 80 percent being caused by a prescription drug.
Avy Redus, OSDH's project coordinator for unintentional poisoning prevention programs, says it is a problem that needs to be stopped.
"It's important that we can prevent overdose deaths and abuse, misuse of prescription drugs. Since these are prescribed medications there's a misperception that these medications are safe and can be taken under any circumstance and just letting people know about the risks associated with the medications and ways to prevent diversion or abuse," Redus said.
Redus says she hopes the people in attendance will use the information they learned to educate the rest of the community on what they can do to help.