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Treatment for Prescription Medication Addiction in Oklahoma City

The biggest city in the State of Oklahoma is Oklahoma City and the population, according to estimates is 638,367 people. The city covers 620.34 square miles with the largest of the area being land, 601 square miles, and about 20 square miles being covered by water. Based on the census conducted in the year 2010, the demographics of Oklahoma City constitute groups of various racial backgrounds. It includes; whites the highest percentage at 63%, African Americans follow at 15%, Native Americans at 4%, Asians at 4%, and the rest of the population being constituted of other minority groups including Hispanics, Latinos, and Native Hawaiians. Over the years, the populace of Oklahoma City has been growing more diverse.

An estimated 6.7% of the population in Oklahoma City does not have high school education. 11.6% of the population has acquired some high school education. About 35.5 % of the Oklahoma City population has earned a college education. An estimated 25.4% has a Bachelor’s degree, 12.6% has a graduate degree, and 8.3% has an Associate’s Degree. Concerning employment, 62% of the people in the city work in the blue collar sector while about a third of the population has white collar jobs. Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of unemployment in the City of Oklahoma is at 4.0%, which is lower compared to 4.5% rate in the state of Oklahoma. It is also lower compared to neighboring Tulsa with a 4.6% unemployment rate.
If you live in Oklahoma City, and have fallen victim to substance abuse don’t hesitate to seek treatment. There are enormous resources in at your disposal.

Drunk Driving in Oklahoma City

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), there was a 1% increase in the fatalities due to drunk driving in Oklahoma in the year 2015. Based on the statistics, in the same year, 188 people lost their lives through accidents that are related to drunk driving. The extent of the problem of drunk driving in the state of Oklahoma, and in Oklahoma City is reflected in the statistics by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) which ranks the state 6% nationally regarding the fatalities resulting from alcohol abuse. The CDC attribute alcoholism to be the cause of 1,350 deaths on an annual basis in the State of Oklahoma. The data reflects how big a problem alcoholism is in Oklahoma City which is most populous in the state.

Most Commonly Abused Drugs in Oklahoma City

Drug abuse and addiction are considered to be an epidemic in Oklahoma City with an annual enrollment of about 17,000 people in rehabilitation centers in the city alone. The following drugs are the most commonly abused in the City;  

  • Cannabis – Annually, about 3,700 people are cannabis abusers in Oklahoma City, about 22% of the total number of people enrolled for treatment.
  • Amphetamines – There is a vast network of trafficking and centers of distribution of the drug in the city. About 3,000 amphetamine addicts are admitted to rehabilitation centers on an annual basis.
  • Crack Cocaine – the drug registers a lower enrollment in admission at rehabilitation centers at about 900 people annually.

The prescription of pain relievers is done for medical purposes. Nationally, the city of Oklahoma, based on data from the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, is the highest in the abuse of prescription drugs. According to a survey conducted in the year 2013 in Oklahoma City, it was discovered that individuals 12 years and above abuse prescription medication. Youths constitute the highest percentage of prescription medication abusers at 10.14%. The rate of abuse among adults was relatively lower in the survey at 3.98%. The percentage of 12-year-olds established to have abused prescription medication was 5.4%. The issue of prescription drugs abuse has been an enormous problem in the city for several years with the numbers doubling in a decade between 2002 and 2012. The Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services attributes to the extreme rise in the prescription medicine abuse cases to the freedom that patients have to get painkillers from different doctors. The program that has been put in place has been mostly ineffective in the monitoring of prescription medication.

Signs of Addiction

The abuse of prescription painkiller medication is addictive and seeking treatment is recommended once the problem is discovered. The discovery is based on several symptoms as well as an assessment. The symptoms of addiction to prescription painkiller medication fall in different categories. The symptoms are the primary factors that need to be observed and inform rehabilitation and treatment. The following are the signs of an addict of prescription pain medication;

Behavioral symptoms

  • Isolation from other people.
  • Visitation of different doctors seeking prescription painkiller medication.

Mood Symptoms

  • Swings in the mood.
  • Euphoria.

Psychological symptoms

  • Psychosis.
  • Anxiety and Depression.

Physical symptoms

  • Seizures.
  • Nausea.
  • Speech becoming slurred.
  • High likelihood of a heart attack.
  • Constipation.
  • Itchiness of the skin.

The identification of some of these symptoms is evidence of the need to get assistance and treatment. The likelihood of death resulting from the continued abuse of prescription painkiller medication is high. An assessment characterizes the beginning of treatment for prescription painkiller medication addiction. 

Assessment for Prescription Painkiller Medication Addiction

An evaluation of prescription painkiller medication addiction is done through various methods. The result obtained in the different techniques of assessing dependence inform the best treatment option based on the extent of the addiction problem. Assessment involves the following;  

Medical History

The giving of prescription painkiller drugs is primarily based on the medical history of a patient. The medical history enables a physician conducting an assessment to understand the types of pain relief medication that a patient has had access to in the past. The information on the medical history of an addict helps a physician in the assessment understand the combination of prescription medication that have been abused by a patient. The assessment of the medical history of the patient should be thorough. In the evaluation, a physician needs to consult or confirm with close family members and friends as well. The review of past medical records provides an overview of the state of the condition of prescription drug addiction. The period that a patient has been addicted and the amount of drugs abused is determined through a medical history assessment, especially based on the number of visits to doctors, some which could be entirely unnecessary.  

A Toxicology Screen

The assessment for prescription painkiller medication addiction also involves toxicology screening. In conducting a toxicology screen, a sample of blood or urine is used. The toxicology screen provides a physician with understanding on the different types of prescription painkiller medication that an addict has been using. The accuracy of a toxicology screen makes it a reliable source of information concerning prescription painkiller medication addiction. The fact that it can accurately provide information on the exact amounts of specific drugs in the body of an addict further enhances its reliability in the assessment for prescription painkiller medication addiction. Other illicit and illegal drugs that an addict has used other than prescription painkiller medication, such as heroin or cocaine can be detected through a toxicology screen.

Physical Exam

A physician assessing prescription painkiller medication addiction should also conduct a physical exam of the addict. The physical evaluation primarily assesses the effects that the drugs have had on the external body of the addict. A physical evaluation should assess whether an addict has intentionally caused body harm to access prescription painkiller medication. The medication should also evaluate the injuries on the body of a user that are connected to the abuse of prescription painkiller medication. 


In the assessment for prescription painkiller medication addiction, an individual answers a questionnaire as a way of self-assessing to determine whether they are addicted. The questionnaire results could be used by a physician in prescribing the most appropriate treatment option that should be used. The following are the most likely questions in the questionnaire;

  • Are your cravings for prescription painkiller medication strong?
  • Has your activities in recreation been reduced due to your dependence on prescription painkiller medication?
  • Has your relations with close friends or relatives been adversely affected by the use of prescription painkiller medication?
  • Do you have a desire to end dependence on prescription painkiller medication?
  • Is your use of prescription painkiller medication higher than your initial use intent?
  • Have you used prescription painkiller medication in high risk environments such as when driving?

The answers that an addict gives provides information on the extent of the problem. The manner in which an addict should be handled during treatment is also understood better based on the results of the assessment. The results obtained in the different types of assessment should provide meaningful information on the treatment option that is most appropriate and best fit to meet the needs of an addict during treatment.  

Pre Intake

Before intake, an addict gets prepared adequately, while a physician collects additional information. Pre-intake is the initial step in the inpatient or outpatient care to rehabilitate a person addicted to prescription pain relief medication. During pre-intake, the following is done;

  • The requirements for treatment are outlined for the addict.
  • The addict is enlightened on personal information and documents that an addict should bring with them during intake.
  • The conditions for outpatient and inpatient treatment are spelt to the addict.
  • The cost for inpatient and outpatient treatment is provided.
  • The personal effects that the addict should get before admission in the case of inpatient treatment are outlined.
  • The physician evaluates the results for the different types of assessment administered to an addict.
  • The addict gets to choose the treatment option that best suits them, inpatient or outpatient, based on an evaluation of various variables.

Pre intake is more of a preparation for the prescription painkiller medication addict and the physician in charge for treatment to begin. It helps in the decision making for the physicians and professionals involved in treatment and the addict.  


Intake for prescription painkiller medication addiction treatment is a stage where further information concerning the addict is collected. Further assessment of the addict is conducted during intake. The determination of whether the patient has fully met the needs for admission for inpatient or outpatients treatment is done. In the intake form, valuable information that is collected, and that informs proper treatment include;  

  • Addresses and contacts to close family and relatives.
  • The primary care provider.
  • Pharmacy records of the addict.
  • Mental health history.
  • Medical health history.
  • Recent challenges or probable stressors.
  • History of alcoholism.
  • Other types of drugs used by the prescription painkiller medication addict.
  • Information on the most recent use or abuse of prescription painkiller medication.
  • Parental history.
  • The motivation behind seeking treatment.
  • The criminal history of the addict.
  • Current medications and allergies.

The information submitted by an addict is confidential, and counsel should be provided before filling the intake form, to ensure that they are honest. The information should inform strategic decision making during the treatment process. The treatment plan needs to be personalized based on the assessment outcomes as well as information collected during intake.   

During intake, an interview with a physician is the conducted. The interview should cover areas concerning the background of the patient culturally. Various considerations which are either religious or ethnic and these need to be granted ample attention during addiction treatment. There could be restrictions in the diet taken by an addict, based on their religious or ethnic background, and this further forms part of the personalized treatment plan for prescription painkiller medication addicts. During the interview, a doctor should be able to identify signs of deception in the responses given by the addict. Regularly encouraging and reminding the addict on the need for honesty by the doctor should be done.


Detox in the treatment process of prescription painkiller medication addiction seeks to remove the drugs from the body. It begins after intake and immediate withdrawal from the use of the prescription painkiller medication is the first step. Departure from the use of the drugs results in various symptoms and management of these is vital in preventing harm during detox.  The following are the withdrawal symptoms for prescription painkiller medication during detoxification;

  • Insomnia.
  • Anger.
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Muscle ache.
  • Anxiety.
  • Vomiting.

These withdrawal symptoms become intense without proper monitoring which is done during inpatient rehabilitation treatment during detox. Moreover, the breathing of vomit can cause issues such as infection of the lungs and choking by an addict. During detox, dehydration is another threat, and this is due to the symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea as the addict undergoes detoxification.  

Medical detox is done in the case of prescription painkiller medication addiction treatment. Some of the types of medication used in medical detox for painkiller abuse is buprenorphine and clonidine. Mostly, these are opioids that are of a dosage that is much lower and whose use in medical detox is done with the objective of relieving the symptoms of withdrawal. The opioids used during medical detox also work through the blockage of opioid receptors with levels that are extremely low in comparison to the prescription painkiller medication abused by an addict. During medical detox for prescription painkiller medication addiction, the administration of the opioids that act as agonists must be done by a medical professional.  

Another type of detox for prescription painkiller medication addiction in the treatment process is rapid detox. Opioid antagonists are used, and an example of these is naloxone. The opioid works by completely blocking the brain receptors of various prescription painkiller medication. The opioid antagonists are a practical solution that helps in reversing the adverse impact of an overdose of prescription painkiller medication. The use of these must be done by a medical professional as well since proper dosage is critical. The use of opioid antagonists does not entirely result in the complete management of the symptoms of withdrawal. Moreover, there are considerable risks to health, an aspect that further makes the presence of a physician critical in the use of this detox technique.

During detox, in many inpatient facilities, a schedule is created, and per the set pattern, a reduced amount of intake of the drug which one is under rehabilitation treatment for is taken. The amount reduces continuously until the withdrawal symptoms are reduced completely. Supervision, while this method is used during detox, is done by a health professional to ensure that an addict completely stops the use once symptoms subside.  

It is recommended that the inpatient option is chosen during detox for prescription painkiller medication addiction. The management of dangerous withdrawal symptoms needs a lot of medical attention to be done successfully. The health status of addicts can be monitored closely, an essential factor and determinant of successful detox, hence the preference for inpatient detox.

What is withdrawal? How long does it last?

Inpatient Treatment Program

The choice of inpatient treatment is the most appropriate for the prescription painkiller medication addicts that require being close supervision. Its preference could be because they are highly dependent on specific or various prescription drugs and in need of supervision on a 24-hour basis. Inpatient facilities are also recommended for people in environments or routines that expose them to the likelihood of easily accessing and abusing prescription pain relief medication. The addict also gets to pay full attention to the recovery process in an inpatient setting, making it more recommendable as a treatment option for prescription drug addicts. 

In an inpatient treatment program and facility, a prescription painkiller medication addict has scheduled meetings with a psychiatrist. These meetings helps the psychiatrist to monitor the performance of the patient as treatment progresses. Counsel on ways that an addict can avoid a relapse to continued use and dependence on prescription drugs is done during meetings with a psychiatrist. The meeting also serves as a therapy session for a recovering addict, equipping them with vital skills that help ensure that they abstain from abusing prescription medication.   

Group meetings with other patients undergoing treatment for prescription painkiller medication addiction are organized in the inpatient programs. During these meetings, the sharing of experiences, and exchange of ideas on how to remain sober. Other types of advice are given by professionals during group therapy meetings in inpatient treatment, further enhancing recovery in the treatment of prescription painkiller medication addicts.  

Treatment in inpatient programs for prescription painkiller medication addiction also involves engagement in a wide range of recreational activities. One of these is yoga, and it helps in calming the brain of an addict. Other than Yoga, engagement in sporting activities in small groups, like tag teams is also done in the treatment of a prescription painkiller medication addict.  

During inpatient treatment, some programs are aimed at motivating addicts to overcome or entirely avoid addiction. The success of addiction treatment is high in an inpatient treatment facility. This is because;  

  • The environment for overcoming the addiction is highly conducive.
  • An addict is placed under close monitoring, especially for the withdrawal symptoms.
  • An addict is denied access to prescription medication, making a relapse highly unlikely.
  • Confidentiality is assured when treatment is done in an inpatient facility.
  • An addict is equipped with valuable life skills to ensure they are capable of living a healthy drug-free life.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment for prescription painkiller medication addicts involves a scheduled visitation to a facility while the addict goes back home. Outpatient treatment allows the addict to live their life normally while undergoing rehabilitation. The option of treatment is recommended for individuals whose prescription painkiller medication addiction is not acute.  

Outpatient treatment for addiction allows the patients to get emotional support for their relatives as well as friends as they undergo treatment. This is an advantage compared to inpatient treatment where family members and close relatives are rarely allowed or part of the treatment process. Outpatient treatment is cheaper given that costs of accommodation are not included in the treatment costs.  

Different programs are integrated into outpatient treatment for prescription painkiller medication addicts. Counselling on ways of avoiding dependence on drugs is provided to prescription painkiller medication addicts, and it is used in outpatient treatment. Regular testing to ensure that the addicts do not continue using prescription drugs as they undergo treatment is done. Group therapy sessions are organized during outpatient treatment, equipping addicts with necessary skills of overcoming the craving for prescription pain relief medication.    

Discipline is essential in outpatient treatment for prescription painkiller medication addiction. Keeping time, which is based on discipline, during the scheduled sessions ensures that the addict does not miss out on valuable information during group therapy sessions. Discipline also enables an addict to avoid abusing prescription medication that they are likely to access easily. The success of outpatient treatment is heavily dependent on the discipline of the addict.   

Should I choose inpatient or outpatient?


After treatment in an inpatient or outpatient facility, aftercare is vital for prescription painkiller medication recovering addicts. Aftercare sessions and activities are conducted on a weekly basis. It involves the following activities;  

  • Regular counseling sessions where strategies for avoiding the temptation of drug use are reinforced.
  • An addict gets to practice that which they learned concerning staying sober during treatment.
  • In group aftercare sessions, addicts get to share information concerning best practices, the challenges they encounter, and the successes to encourage each other.
  • Plans are developed to enable a recovering addict manage their behavior during trigger situations much better.

Rehabilitation facilities offering aftercare services prevent relapse prevention therapy. The treated addict gets the skills of managing and suppressing the cravings that they are likely to get after treatment. During aftercare, the development of a rigid network of individuals and groups that promote and encourage healthy living is a critical step in aftercare.  

What happens after discharge?

Sober Living

Recovered and fully treated prescription painkiller medication addicts are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that they live a sober life. Sober living involves the following;  

  • Task scheduling to ensure that a treated addict is busy and productive throughout the day.
  • Consumption of healthy food to provide the body with proper nutrients.
  • Active engagement in recreational activities.
  • Avoid interaction with people that are likely to influence one to use prescription painkiller medication.
  • Get immediate medical assistance in case of relapse is an integral part of sober living.

The treatment process for prescription painkiller medication addiction should begin once the earliest symptoms are detected. Delays in seeking treatment are likely to increase the treatment period and costs given that addict is expected to spend more time undergoing rehabilitation. Individuals that are addicted to prescription pain relief medication in Oklahoma City are encouraged to seek immediate treatment.