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Experts say Oklahomans lack care for mental illness, drug abuse issues

March 22, 2014
by Ginnie Graham
Oklahoman

Oklahoma ranks No. 2 in the prevalence of mental illness in the nation, No. 1 in addiction to prescription drugs and has the 12th highest suicide rate, according to data from two federal agencies.

The state ranks fifth in the U.S. in overdose deaths from drugs, according to a report from Trust for America's Health. Yet, at least 70 percent of Oklahoma adults and 40 percent of youth are not getting treatment. It's higher for substance abuse problems.

Each day, 600 to 900 residents with an assessment requiring services do not get it, according to the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

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