A major pharmaceutical company recently announced plans to launch an addiction treatment center in Tulsa.

This is as part of an agreement with the state to help those suffering from opioid pain medication dependency. Purdue Pharma L.P. will establish the National Center for Addiction Studies and Treatment at Oklahoma State University (OSU). In addition, funding provided by the pharmaceutical giant is part of a settlement. This is a result of the role it played in contributing to the opioid crisis. The company’s agreement with Oklahoma also includes payment of $12.5 million for individual cities and counties to address issues related to opioid use within the local community. While another $60 million will go towards the state as reimbursement for legal costs and fees.

Finding Alternatives to Opioid Use for Chronic Pain Sufferers

Purdue Pharma has taken heat by the medical community. As well as government officials over the role it played in contributing to the existing opioid crisis. The Sackler family, which for two generations has owned and operated the company, is accused of recklessly pushing the highly addictive opioid medication OxyContin. As a result, the company and individual family members have found themselves at the center of numerous lawsuits by people suffering from addiction and the loved ones of those who overdosed.

“People are often prescribed OxyContin and other types of powerful pain medications as a way of dealing with injuries. Along with illnesses and chronic health conditions,” says Dr. Jason Sparks of Spine and Orthopedic Specialists in Tulsa.

Unfortunately, these medications are highly addictive and once a patient starts using them, they may find themselves unable to stop.” Sparks says that while funding addiction treatment is important, a better and more permanent solution is addressing the causes of pain. “Dealing with underlying health issues through advanced orthopedic care. Including making healthy lifestyle changes and seeking alternative techniques for dealing with discomfort can all help to reduce the risk of dependence on dangerous opioids.”