Wichita Co. seeing low-income healthcare opioid rise


WICHITA COUNTY, TX (KAUZ) - The opioid overdose epidemic is hitting close to home as a new report reveals some alarming numbers in Texoma. It started with learning that Wichita County is in the top 25 nationwide when it comes to prescribing opioids.

Those prescriptions are going to those on low-income health care. County Commissioners and community partners discovered the news and are requesting the Community Healthcare Center, who is also a partner in this initiative, to limit the number of days and pills they prescribe.

Precinct 1 Commissioner, Mark Beauchamp, said the county is prescribing too much synthetic heroin.

"Last year there was more than one prescription for every man, woman, and child written for an opioid medication just in Wichita County," he said.

Commissioner Beauchamp said that stat is just for prescriptions prescribed in Wichita County, not ones being brought in.

He added that it's not just a problem with low-income healthcare clients or just in Wichita County, but a problem everywhere.

Commissioner Beauchamp said they see a lot of opioid abuse from people inside the jail because a lot of them are brought in addicted. He added that the county is paying for those medications. So the more opioids prescribed through the low-income health program, the more tax dollars being spent paying for drugs, ultimately leading to addiction and lost lives.

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