Claremore Daily Progress

August 16, 2012

Task force promotes International Overdose Awareness Day

Mark Friedel
Staff Writer

CLAREMORE — Rogers County Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force is in the process of creating a memorial wall entitled “Silent Voices.”

The wall is intended to help Oklahomans remember some of the people in the state whose deaths were a result of an overdose.
“The goal of the wall is to draw attention to this problem and educate others about the dangers of substance abuse and misuse,” said Rogers County Task Force Preventionist Teresa Carnes.
People will be able to submit their  loved ones’ photo with a story describing him/her and submit the information to be placed on the wall.
“Every story is different, however losing a loved one, it’s a tragedy.  No matter how you lose a family member, it’s a tragedy that people want to prevent,” said Task Force Preventionist Amy Gerham.
The memorial will become a traveling display with information on the epidemic and how to prevent prescription abuse.
According to the Rogers County Drug Abuse Task Force, accidental drug overrdose is currently the leading cause of non injury-related death in the U.S. for people between the ages of 35 and 54 and second leading cause of injury-related death for young people.
Oklahoma is ranked number one in nonmedical use of Opioid pain relievers and among the top 10 in prescription drug overdose deaths, according to the task force.  
The information also states that between 1998 and 2008, 68 deaths were recorded in Rogers Coutny as opiate overdoses.
Gerham said for those who witness someone taking a large amount of prescription pills to not let them sleep it off because there is a chance they won’t wake up.
“You have to put the fear of calling 911 aside and report the overdose,” she said.
Aug. 31 is International Drug Overdose Awareness Day.  The goal is to promote education and help people realize this is an important issue. There are four basic steps to prevent prescription drug abuse in the home.
Use prescription drugs only as directed
Do not share any prescribed medication, this is illegal.
Lock up any medication in a secure cabinet or medicine safe to ensure access is controlled.
Lastly, dispose of medication properly.  
Prescription drop offs are available for use in the Claremore area at local pharmacies and the Rogers County Sheriff’s office.
For more information on the memorial wall and Drug Overdose Awareness Day visit  
For information on joining Task Force call Amy Gerham at (918) 859-6797.