A research center connected to Oklahoma State University opened in Tulsa yesterday.
The Hardesty Center for Clinical Research and Neuroscience has the ability to do brain imaging studies, and will contribute to research on the treatment of addiction.
A slate of dignitaries attended the opening at 1013 East 6th Place. Rep. Kevin Hern said the center is looking into a big problem for Oklahoma.
“Substance use disorders are now a public health crisis in our state with almost 1,000 Oklahomans dying each year. From 2003 to 2018, drug overdose deaths increased by 91%.”
In 2020, 753 people in Oklahoma died from overdoses. That’s up from 618 in 2019. The pandemic may be to blame, but the Centers for Disease Control also says fentanyl, a powerful drug that is often mixed with other drugs, probably has a role in that increase.
Mayor G.T. Bynum said the center is part of efforts to cut down on drug-related incarceration.
“It’s going to move us away from the well-intentioned but incorrect notion that reducing crime just equals locking people up. Instead we’re going to treat root causes, not just for those who commit crimes, but your next door neighbor who struggles with addiction.”
The center was paid for by the Hardesty Family Foundation.