- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 8, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma Department of Health has received an $820,000 grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent overdose deaths due to prescription opioids.

The grant is part of the Prevention for States program that will support 16 states with annual awards over the next four years to improve prescribing practices and try to decrease the number of prescription drug overdoses.

Drug overdose is the leading cause of injury-related death, both in Oklahoma and the United States. In 2013, Oklahoma had the eighth highest age-adjusted drug overdose death rate in the nation, 49 percent higher than the U.S. rate. More overdose deaths involve prescription painkillers than alcohol and all illicit drugs combined.

The federal grant will support prescription drug monitoring programs and improvements to opioid prescribing practices.

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