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The Drug Epidemic in Broken Arrow

Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, named one of the “100 Best Places to Live” by a national magazine in 2006 and again in February 2019, finds itself facing “outrageous fortunes” as big city challenges reach small-town America. The Broken Arrow Police Department (BAPD) hosted a Fentanyl Forum on July 14, 2022, at which Donnie Anderson, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Director, stated, “Oklahoma is in the midst of a drug epidemic, including Broken Arrow.” “With a 418% increase in Oklahoma drug overdoses in 2022, you are more likely to die from an overdose than be killed by a firearm,” he continued. The BAPD informed residents that fentanyl had been discovered in the community.

They went on to explain the impact this had on crime, as well as the effects of fentanyl on the brain and mental health of its abuser. Because fentanyl binds to opioid receptors found in areas of the brain that control emotions, decision making, and cognitive control – and displays symptoms associated with addiction such as confusion, psychosis, depression, personality disorder, tolerance, trauma, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – Improving Lives Counseling Services is expanding our presence in Broken Arrow with additional offices, clinicians, counselors, and therapists.

How Can Mental Health Services Help the Broken Arrow Community?

Expanding our footprint in the Broken Arrow community will enable us to meet the specific needs of citizens suffering from mental illness as a result of social conditions common in urban areas. Despite the fact that Broken Arrow is a beautiful community with a violent crime rate of only 1.69%, recent growth has presented challenges.

  • Poverty has increased from 5% to 8%, there is a one in every 53 chance of becoming a victim of property crime
  • 25% of the 191,000 public school students are economically disadvantaged
  • Property values are lower than the national average,
  • 73% of residents own their homes, and
  • household income is rising
  • unemployment is rising for the first time in more than ten years.

Broken Arrow students staged a walkout on February 10, 2022, to protest bullying, an ongoing issue so serious that Broken Arrow Public Schools posted a warning on their website with instructions to call 911.

Drug Use in Oklahoma

Oklahoma ranks third in the country in drug use, sixth in heroin use, and seventh in meth use, all of which have a direct impact on the people of Broken Arrow and contribute to the 22% of Oklahomans who report a mental illness. Local news station KTUL reported on September 15, 2022, that “research by NiceRX found Oklahoma had the fourth highest total number of overdose deaths in the country from 2013 to 2020.”

Mental Illness in Oklahoma

Oklahoma ranks third in the country in terms of people reporting a mental illness and had the highest rate of mental illness during COVID for months. “One in every four Oklahomans who died from an overdose had a history of mental illness between 2016 and 2020,” according to the study. Three out of every four people, or 73%, had a history of substance abuse. Tulsa County had the state’s seventh highest nonfatal drug overdose hospitalization rate, with 48% of hospitalizations unintentional and 48% due to self-harm.

Improving Lives Counseling is Here to Help

Broken Arrow is a fantastic place to live, work, shop, worship, play, and raise a family. Nonetheless, they have grown by leaps and bounds, and as a result, they are confronting the reality of urban living, putting them among the citizenry included in city and state statistics. 

The licensed professional therapists at Improving Lives Counseling Services are here to diagnose and treat the people of Broken Arrow who have become and/or fear becoming just another statistic. Mental illness can be diagnosed and treated, regardless of the cause. Look for us in Broken Arrow and surrounding areas. To learn more, please contact us.