Alcohol Sales Enforcement- OKC

Oklahoma City leaders and advocates remain committed to decrease underage drinking by eliminating the sale of alcohol to minors. Although we have made strides, some youth continue to fall prey to peer pressure or the “right of passage” attitude. They gain access to alcohol through social gatherings and/or stores, both of which are against the law. In October, news broke that two underage Oklahoma State football players were discovered passed out at the wheel in a Whataburger drive-thru due to intoxication; they were arrested and later released on bail. This is a clear reminder that the battle against underage drinking is not quite over.

Eagle Ridge Institute (ERI) is working with local law enforcement and youth volunteers in the community to conduct alcohol compliance checks throughout Oklahoma County. They seek to ensure merchants, who serve or sell alcohol, are following the requirements affirmed in policies and procedures that are set by their licensees. ERI seeks to educate and remind local retailers Oklahoma law concerning the sale of alcohol to underage individuals and the consequences they face when the law is broken.




Last week, ERI compliance teams visited 10 retail locations. During which, no alcoholic beverages were sold to underage individuals! We would like to recognize and congratulate these businesses on their efforts to keep our youth alcohol free. These businesses are:

  • Olive Garden (2639 Memorial Rd.)
  • Baker St. Pub and Grill ( 2701 W Memorial Rd.)
  • Fox and Hound Pub and Grill (3031 W Memorial Rd.)
  • Abuelo’s (3001 Memorial Rd.)
  • Poblano Grill (13593 May)
  • Wes Welker’s Sports Bar and Grill (3121 W Memorial Rd.)
  • Longhorn Steakhouse (2521 Memorial Rd.)
  • BJ’s Brewhouse and Restaurant (2425 Memorial Rd.)
  • Johnny Carino’s (2905 Memorial Rd.)
  • Bikinis Sports Bar and Grill (2747 W Memorial Rd.)

If you are aware of a restaurant, store, bar or club in your community that sells alcohol to minors, you can contact your local law enforcement or a Prevention Specialist of Eagle Ridge Institute at (405) 463-7526. Your help will create a safe and positive environment for our communities and children.


New Policy Means What for Your RX Refill

With a sharp rise of prescription drug misuse and abuse across our nation, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has initiated several campaigns, at the federal level, to address this epidemic. One of their latest regulatory actions, that was implemented earlier this month, was the Final Rule rescheduling hydrocodone combination products. The rule reclassified all drugs containing the opioid hydrocodone from Schedule III to the more-restrictive Schedule II.

Under the DEA regulatory sanction, pharmacies cannot honor refills of prescriptions for hydrocodone products submitted on or after October 6, 2014. Prescribers must submit a new, handwritten prescription for each 30-day supply of the narcotic. For valid hydrocodone prescriptions submitted prior to that date, however, pharmacies can legally dispense authorized refills until April 8, 2015.


This reclassification came on the wake of nearly seven million Americans abusing controlled-substance prescription medications. The federal administration discovered that roughly two-thirds of emergency department admissions for overdoses involve prescription medications, resulting in more deaths from prescription drug overdoses than auto accidents. The most commonly abused and leading cause of injury-related mortality in the United Stated is prescription painkillers- hydrocodone being one of them. DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart, “..These products are some of the most addictive and potentially dangerous prescription medications available.”

Oklahoma, along with several other states, allow authorized refills of prescription for hydrocodone combination products submitted before October 6, 2014 to be refilled until April 8, 2015, following the federal accommodation. However, some states have opt towards a different course of action due to several notions. States like Missouri, New York and Pennsylvania prohibit refills of hydrocodone combination products, no matter if they were submitted prior to October. West Virginia is limiting to 2 refills and Wisconsin is permitting refills until November 1, 2014 instead of April 8, 2015.

Regulatory divergence by some states has one pharmacist association concerned for patients’ pain therapy, which they claim could be compromised if the federal accommodation is not followed. Nonetheless, Kevin Schweers, Vice President of National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) provides insight into the matter and offers resolution. “Pharmacists may not be able to fill these prescriptions due to multiple factors related to state law and insurance-related issues, which may prevent the pharmacy from honoring the refill.” His recommendation, “Therefore, it was recommended that patients contact their doctors to obtain a new prescription.”

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New DEA Developments, create more…


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The semi-annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is just weeks away, occurring Saturday, September 27th from 10 am to 2 pm. In the last four years this event, sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), has collected millions of pounds of prescription drugs in an effort to provide a safe way to dispose unused or expired prescription drugs. Misuse and abuse of prescription drugs, particularly painkillers, has been on the rise in the last decade, leading to a significant amount of both intentional and accidental overdoses. We’ve come to realize that there needs to be a system in place that provides a safeguard against this non-discriminatory problem because it continues to claim countless lives each year either by death or addiction.


It has become a top priority for national policy makers and our state leaders to reduce availability to these dangerous medications. The DEA has made disposal of prescription drugs a priority, announcing Monday, that they will allow unused narcotics, stimulants and depressants to be returned to authorized collectors either by mail or in person. This policy also gives long-term impatient facilities authorization to do so on behalf of residents or former residents. This program is voluntary for some DEA registrants, such as treatment programs, pharmacies, manufacturers, hospitals/clinics with onsite pharmacies; for those who do agree to participate they are required to permanently destroy them. Flushing medication never has been a solution for professionals nor should it be for consumers, as it poses significant harm to our environment. In addition, nurses, aids As Oklahomans, we have begun to tackle this epidemic in our state with legislation, education and other reforms, let us continue to fight the good fight and encourage the pharmacies in our community to join this program. Together we can create a brighter future for Oklahoma by reducing the incidence of prescription drug abuse.


Rethink Hosting

As undergraduate students embark on their first year or another year of schooling, a few collegiate customs are underway: get yours books, know where your classes are located, attend your first week of classes and when it is all said and done, go to back-to-school parties. Celebrations of scholastic journeys with music, dancing, food and drinks happen around many campuses, in settings where too often underage drinking occurs and consequences follow. The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office reported 36 alcohol-related crashes in Oklahoma City where the age of the driver was between the ages of 16-19 in 2013. This is where things get less amusing and far more serious for a student, parent, friend and the host of the party.

Recently, Edmond Police arrested nearly a dozen “social hosts” in one weekend for holding parties where alcohol was provided to underage party goers. Implementing Oklahoma’s Social Host law, they held individuals who provided the location of the party responsible for underage alcohol consumption. Offenders face fines that increase substantially with additional violations, three violations results in a felony conviction of up to 5 years in prison plus fines. The penalties and liability increase if injury or fatality occurs as a result of drinking.  Hosting a back-to-school party where both minors and alcohol is present is too great of a risk to take. It is likely to result in costs that are immeasurable: scholarships, relationships, jobs, reputation, life.under age drinkinh

It will take the collaborative efforts of local law enforcement, local agencies, communities and individuals to reduce underage drinking. If you are aware of social gatherings or parties where people 20 and under have access to alcohol, please contact your local law enforcement agency. For more information about the Social Host law visit or contact a prevention specialist of Eagle Ridge Institute at 405-840-1359.

The Impacts of Underage Drinking…..

Adolescent Alcohol Use Linked to Suicidal Tendencies
Today’s adolescents undergo an unusually large amount of stress these days. With the pressure of being socially accepted, dealing with bullies and other hurtful people, or simply trying to complete high school, teenagers’ experience with stressful situations often times leads to harmful lifestyles. These hard times, if you will, can drive our teens to alcohol and other illegal substance abuse in attempt to cope with life’s difficult situations. Unfortunately, substance abuse, more times than not, leads to more harmful situations, such as driving under the influence, unprotected sex, sexual assault, harm to others, or even harm to themselves.
There have been numerous studies correlating alcohol and substance abuse rates among teenagers with emergency room visits, depression, and other developmental issues. However, there is little research to see if alcohol and substance abuse among teenagers is linked to an increased rate of suicide or suicide attempts. In a 2005 study, 13,000 plus students from across the country participated in a survey in an attempt to determine if alcohol and other illegal substance use contribute to an increase in suicidal tendencies. The results are astounding.

alcohol and suicide
According to the survey conducted by researchers Swahn and Bossarte (2007), pre-teen drinkers (ages younger than 13) are more likely to report suicidal thoughts and attempts versus non-drinkers of the same age group and even more likely than teenagers (ages older than 13) who do drink. Pre-teen girls who drink alcohol have more suicidal thoughts than teenage girls who drink. Boys under the age of 13 who partake in alcohol before 13 years old reported having more suicidal thoughts and actually attempted suicide more than pre-teen boys that did not drink (Swahn & Bossarte, 2007).
Contributing Factors on Alcohol Use among Adolescents
This study along with every other study highlight the same message: Alcohol and substance abuse is a pandemic in our society, especially among our youth. There are many factors contributing to adolescent substance abuse. Parents that abuse alcohol or illegal drugs, peer pressure from other teens, and emotional distress are just a few of the factors. Advertisements and marketing campaigns for the alcohol and tobacco industries are a significant factor toward underage drinking. The industries reach more kids each day with ads in music videos, popular songs, social media, and television and radio commercials. These industries have mastered the art of appealing to today’s youth through signage, store displays, and product placement. It has proven so successful that in 2005 the alcohol industry alone spent $2 billion on various media campaigns. According to the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, teenagers are exposed to over 23 different ads each month. Research shows that for every ad over 23, the likelihood of a teenager to drink alcohol increases by 1% (
Alcohol poses a significant threat to our children today. Overexposure to alcohol and illegal substances, whether it is from other teens or from media campaigns, increases the likelihood that our children will experiment with substance abuse. Teens who drink are more at risk for living a harmful lifestyle and put themselves and others in danger. As parents, we must remain vigilant and stay involved in our children’s lives. Open communication with your teen can make the difference between life and death. Have the conversation. Speak out to your children and others about the dangers of alcohol use. For more information on our prevention efforts contact Eagle Ridge Institute today at 405-840-1359.

Oklahoma is not Immune From Prescription Drug Abuse. What Can Be Done to Help?


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prescription_heroDid you know that more people in the United States die from prescription drug abuse than those killed in a car accident or those suffering from gunshot wounds? According to statistics from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), more than 100 people die each day from the misuse of prescription drugs. The United States, alone, is responsible for 75 percent of the worldwide prescription drug use, which means the chances of prescription drug abuse in the United States is substantially higher than any country in the world. The NIDA reported that 52 million people age 12 and older took a medication for reasons outside of what it was intended. America has a prescription drug problem and Oklahoma certainly is not immune to this epidemic.
RX According to the state’s Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control, nearly 600 of the 788 deaths caused by overdose last year contained at least one prescription drug and they anticipate those numbers will rise as paperwork from the Office of Chief Medical Examiner is processed. Among the prescriptions abused, painkillers such as OxyContin, oxycodone, and Vicodin are the most common. Abusers of the drugs claimed they gained access to the drugs through friends or family; some even admitted to “raiding Mom and Dad’s medicine cabinet.” Prevention efforts across the state need to focus on reducing access to prescription drugs to non-patients and informing the communities of the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

Oklahoma just recently had a setback in the prevention of prescription drug abuse. The Oklahoma legislature failed to pass a bill that would require physicians to check an online database before prescribing narcotics. Many top government officials believed this process would reduce the misuse of dangerous prescribed narcotics, but unfortunately this bill failed to gain the support needed to pass. Despite this minor setback, we as a community can come together to fight this epidemic by following a few tips.


  • Keep prescription medications stored away from children. Locking your medicine cabinet keeps the medications out of reach from children and prevents others from stealing your medications.
  • Properly store medications out-of-sight from visitors. Friends and family are the ones more likely to steal the medication from you. Often times, they will see the prescription bottles on your night stand and will help themselves. Keeping your drugs out-of-sight will prevent this.hr_68200medcab
  • Use prescription medications as directed by a physician. Make sure you follow the instructions given by the physician, especially warnings concerning the consumption of alcohol while on the medication.
  • Don’t share prescription drugs with others. It may seem very easy to give a friend a painkiller for a head or backache, but the fact is: it is illegal to use drugs that are not prescribed to you. It’s not worth it.

If you have any questions concerning prescription drug abuse or the disposal of prescription medications, contact a prevention specialist from Eagle Ridge Institute at 405-840-1359.

Keep Them Safe and Keep Them Sober this Memorial Day Weekend.


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Flag 2Memorial Day weekend is here! The unofficial start of summer has finally arrived and people across Oklahoma are gearing up for a weekend of cooking out, trips to the lake, and hopefully time off from work. This weekend also marks the beginning of the 101 Critical Days of Summer. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, more mishaps occur because people are more likely to get outdoors and participate in higher risk activities such as boating, water skiing, and motorcycling. In fact, the summer months have proven to be more hazardous to teen drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 1,000 people were killed in auto-related accidents during the summer months of 2012 and more than 500 of those killed were teens. Causal factors included distracted driving, horseplay, and underage drinking. Of course, teenagers on the road is not the only hazard during the summer months.

water safetyDehydrationsun safety

There are many contributing factors to the accidents that occur during the summer. Dehydration can lead to many heat-related mishaps, lack of sun block can lead to extreme sun burns, and improper use of or neglecting to use life preservers can lead to drowning. Alcohol is also a major factor contributing to mishaps during the summer months, especially for teenagers. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), teenagers are more likely to have their first alcoholic beverage during June and July than any other month. Summer vacations, parties, and trips to the lake are the more common places teens gain access to alcohol. The major problem, besides being illegal, is that teens lack the ability to regulate their alcohol consumption which leads to binge drinking. Binge drinking is when men have more than 5 drinks and women more than 4 drinks in about a two hour period. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 90% of the drinks consumed by people under the age of 21 is in the form of binge drinking. The scary thing is binge drinking can quickly result in alcohol poisoning which may lead to hospitalization and even death. A 2010 CDC report showestomach pumpd there were more than 189,000 emergency room visits by persons younger than 21 involved in alcohol related incidents. We need our communities to come together to prevent our teens from having access to alcohol and to encourage them to stay away from it this summer.

Here are a few ideas to help keep our teenagers safe and sober this summer:

  • Talk to your teenagers about the effects of alcohol.
  • Be engaged with your teenagers and discuss their plans for the summer. Be involved during this summer. Plan family vacations and family stopdrinkingoutings.
  • Encourage an open relationship with your kids. Try to avoid scare tactics. Send clear messages about the consequences of drinking but allow for open ended conversations. Let your kids know you care about their perspective.
  • Monitor your teenager’s behavior. Team up with other parents and community organizations to help keep track of your teen’s whereabouts. Know the signs of alcohol abuse and seek help when needed.


  • Set a good example for your kids. If you drink alcohol, be sure to drink in a manner in which you would want your kids to drink when they are adults.

Prevention specialists from Eagle Ridge Institute want to encourage you to do your part in making this a safe and exciting summer. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact a prevention specialist at (405)840-1359. Have a fun, exciting, and safe summer!

Don’t Risk Your Future!


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graduation caps

It’s that time of year again. High school students are gearing up for their Junior/Senior proms and seniors are psyched about graduation. You can feel the excitement building as these young men and women are preparing to walk across that stage and receive their diplomas. For many of these young people, proms and graduation is a right-of-passage into early adulthood and often times call for celebration.

grad party

According to the 2010 Oklahoma Prevention Needs Assessment, 12th graders who reported drinking alcohol within the past year, 80% said they consumed it at a friend’s house or party. An astonishing 70% claimed they received the alcoholic concoctions from someone over 21. With the “After Prom” and graduation party season here, Oklahoma teens will have more access to alcoholic beverages than any other time of year. Prevention specialists from Eagle Ridge Institute and the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement (ABLE) Commission are out educating local communities on Oklahoma’s Social Host laws, which went in effect in November 2011.


Under Oklahoma’s Social Host laws, anyone allowing underage drinking or the use of “any controlled dangerous drugs” on their property can be charged with a misdemeanor and receive $500 fines. According to prevention specialists, the main idea behind the Social Host campaign is not to provide anyone under 21 a place to drink. The “Those Who Host Stand to Lose the Most” campaign discusses methods of restricting alcohol to Oklahoma teens such as locking liquor cabinets and medicine cabinets. Eagle Ridge Institute and the ABLE commission would like to encourage community members to spread the word on Oklahoma’s laws and do their part to make this a safe and exciting spring. If you have any questions concerning Oklahoma Social Host or you would like to volunteer your time to help your community, please contact a prevention specialist at Eagle Ridge Institute at (405) 840-1359