Senator Lankford Statement on White House Announcement Regarding Opioid Epidemic

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today released the following statement on the White House’s announcement to declare a public health emergency to address the national opioid crisis: 

“Opioid abuse is a nationwide crisis that continues to grow and the effects continue to devastate families across America,” said Lankford. “This crisis is all too real in Oklahoma as it impacts young people, families, and communities from all parts of the state. It is time for action. Our state ranks high in the nation for opioid-related deaths. We can all take steps to stop Oklahoma and our nations’ growing opioid crisis and combat addiction through interdiction at the border, education, and ensuring all unneeded prescription drugs are removed from our homes.”

During Lankford’s October 12 town hall-style Community Conversation in Tulsa, he spoke at length about the opioid crisis in Oklahoma. CLICK HERE to view his remarks. 

In 2016, 66 percent of the total drug deaths in Oklahoma were due to prescription or over-the-counter drugs. Fentanyl is 100 times more powerful than morphine but it was still prescribed in the US. 6.65 million prescriptions were written in 2014. In 2016, more than two million Americans had an addiction to prescription or illicit opioids. Since 2000, over 300,000 Americans have died from overdoses involving opioids.