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StudioTulsa on Health: Notes on Prescription Drug Abuse in Oklahoma

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Aired on Tuesday, June 25th.

Prescription drug abuse is becoming more and more of a serious problem in this country. According to some estimates, sales of such drugs have quadrupled over the last decade in the United States --- and Oklahoma actually ranks number one (out of all 50 states) in deaths attributed to Rx drug overdoses. On this edition of StudioTulsa on Health, guest host Dr. John Schumann speaks with Dr. William Yarborough, a local expert in this regard. Dr. Yarborough is currently an Associate Professor of Medicine and the Medical Director of the Internal Medicine Clinics at the OU-Tulsa College of Medicine. He also directs the Tulsa-based clinic known as 12 & 12 Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation, Inc. (You can read a full bio for Dr. Yarborough here.) Today's conversation focuses not only on the scope and dimensions of prescription drug abuse  in this state, but also on the challenges and "grey areas" that physicians must confront when employing Rx drugs to treat chronic pain and addiction.

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government. Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.
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