Oklahoma's Newly Appointed AG's Focus Is on Safety
TULSA, Oklahoma - Oklahoma's newly appointed Attorney General visited Tulsa today, and he sat down with only one reporter to talk about his top priority has the top law enforcement officer in the state.
Mike Hunter told News On 6 Crime Reporter Lori Fullbright that his top priority is to make sure the people of our state are safe.
That's why he is tackling the issue of painkiller addiction and overdoses. He says nearly 3,000people died in Oklahoma in the past three years because of this issue and it's not acceptable."
You'd never know by looking at one middle class, church-going, loving mother that Sandy Hoyt would end up with a son addicted to heroin.
She talked to News On 6 in 2015 about Kyle's struggle with addiction, his many times in and out of rehab, his successes and relapses, even living on the streets for a time.
"He's been beat up, lost teeth, lived in tents, eaten out of dumpsters," Hoyt said.
Hoyt is not alone. Very few families in Oklahoma are untouched by opioid addiction. Painkiller addiction is an epidemic and e problem and as the state cracks down on prescription drugs, we see an increase in people turning to heroin because it's made of morphine.
Mike Hunter has created a commission to study the issue from all sides until December, then they'll make recommendations to state lawmakers.
"Do I look like the mother of a heroin addict? Neither does anyone else," Hoyt said.
Hoyt is a middle class, church-going, loving mother who knew nothing about the drug world. She says her son Kyle started stealing the Adderall pills he was prescribed for attention deficit disorder when he was young, then in junior high, got caught smoking pot at the bus stop.
"I was irate, absolutely irate. Just want to get a hold of him and smack the dickens out of him, 'what are you doing?' But, he went to rehab and I went with him. This is not going to happen and I thought that would be the end of it," Hoyt said.
Kyle did better, graduated high school and moved out on his own, then a year later at 19, she learned he was doing meth.
"'I'm your mother. This will not happen to you. I will not let it,'" Hoyt said. "I found rehab and said get in the car and he ran away."
He came home, went to rehab again, but got smashed the very night he was released, then moved to California, got a job, a fiance but two years later at 26, started taking prescription painkillers, then heroin - a devastating blow.
"I knew he could die. This is different. He can die," Hoyt said.
He became homeless on the streets of LA for three months.
"He's been beat up, lost teeth, lived in tents, eaten out of dumpsters," she said.
He went to rehab, got kicked out, tried again, then was arrested and the judge gave him a chance at drug court - a two-year program to get sober. That was
in January and Sandy says talking to him this week, gave her renewed hope.
"That was the first conversation in all these years where I felt I was talking to my son," she said.