Opioid response sheds light on addiction in southwest Oklahoma
As soon as Dr. Jason Beaman got to Duncan on Friday, he rolled up his sleeves and got to work helping solve southwestern Oklahoma’s opioid crisis, which he said is very real.
“There’s an education piece with local officials and physicians,” Beaman said, “but yes, you do have an opioid problem here. Lawton recently was No. 4 in the country out of the top 275 cities for opioid prescriptions per 100 people.”
Beaman, an assistant clinical professor at Oklahoma State University’s Center for Health Sciences, participated in a seven-day opioid epidemic response event that runs through Thursday morning at the Simmons Center.
The response was funded by a $1.4 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Oklahoma State Department of Health. Duncan Regional Hospital, the City of Duncan and Stephens County community leaders and local law enforcement partnered with OSU’s Center for Wellness and Recovery to bring the event to town. Duncan is one of four Oklahoma communities selected to host an opioid epidemic response this summer, and this week’s response follows events in McAlester and Tahlequah. The final response will be in Ardmore, starting at 6 p.m. Aug. 16 at the Ardmore Convention Center, 2401 N. Rockford Road.
According to the Beaman, the community’s response to opioid addictions is critical.