substance abuse

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Drug overdose deaths in Oklahoma increased 91 percent over the last decade and a half, prompting the state to form a task force charged with a daunting goal: Brainstorm a plan to guide the state out of an opioid epidemic that kills three Oklahomans nearly every day.

The Commission on Opioid Abuse released its final report in January.

Local treatment center Valley Hope is hosting an event on Thursday known as "Hope for Recovery" at downtown Oklahoma City's Bicentenial Park to recognize September as National Recovery Month.

KOSU's Michael Cross spoke with Marketing Development Manager Ashley Barcum about the event taking place from 11:00am to 1:00pm

While this is the first time Valley Hope has done this, Barcum hopes to make it a yearly event.

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Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

New Hampshire is in the throes of a drug epidemic driven by prescription opioids and heroin.

"The state of New Hampshire loses a citizen to an overdose death about every day," said Tym Rourke, chairman of the New Hampshire Governor's Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

ok.gov/governor

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has issued an executive order creating a special committee to develop reforms to how the state handles nonviolent offenders who have substance abuse problems and mental health issues.

Fallin issued the order Wednesday creating the six-member Oklahoma Justice Reform Steering Committee.