Ada community comes together to help prevent substance abuse

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ADA, OK -- Drug overdoses now kill more Oklahomans than motor vehicle accidents - an average of two per day.

The State Health Department says prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing problem in Oklahoma.

With nearly 81% of unintentional poisoning deaths involving a prescription drug.

Counselors, law enforcement, students, and other members of the Ada community met at the Addiction and Recovery Conference at ECU on Thursday to learn how they can help prevent that number from growing.

"I think there's a lot of misconception about prescription drug abuse," said Holli Witherington, Executive Director of the Brandon Whitten Institute for Addiction and Recovery. "People think it's safe because it's prescribed by a doctor, or that altering the way a prescription is written is safe to do without consulting a doctor. We really just want to reeducate and correct some of those misconceptions so that we aren't losing as many Oklahomans."

Witherington says the conference focuses on topics like current drug trends to addiction recovery and prevention

Marcus Pogue says the conference helps many that work with substance abuse and related fields find new ways to help their clients.

"Most counselors will tell you that they have different clients that they can't have breakthroughs with them, so it's good to go out and hear new approaches and new styles and see what someone else is doing, and it allows us to try different techniques with our clients," Pogue said.

Latricia Bryant with Ada Regional United Way, says the conference lets community members know that there are people that are always willing to help.

"There is an opportunity to go beyond that addiction, and there are people that can help them," Bryant said.

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