The battle against opiate overdose has reached new heights in the state of Missouri, as both activists and lawmakers attempt to find their own cures for the problem of addiction.
As of 2013, Missouri had the seventh highest drug overdose mortality rate in the country, according to the Trust for America’s Health, a nonprofit drug addiction research group. Many of the drug overdose deaths are attributable to either prescription drugs or heroin.
However, in spite of the fact that Missouri’s overdose rate is so high, the state has yet to enact the measures to prevent overdoses that have been adopted by other states. The Trust for America’s Health said Missouri scored only a 3 out of 10 possible for measures to curb prescription drug abuse.
Activist Chad Sabora of the Missouri Network for Opiate Reform and Recovery has been leading the charge to create public awareness of the issue. In February, Sabora and his group took a coffin to the state capital which they constructed and filled with prescription drug bottles labeled with the names of people who had died from overdoses.
The protest was designed to draw attention to the state’s debate over whether or not to create a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP). The purpose of a PDMP is to prevent people from using multiple doctors to get multiple prescriptions for the same illness. Missouri is the only state in the country that lacks a PDMP.
Lawmakers Search for Solutions to Substance Abuse
On the government front of the issue, lawmakers have submitted three separate bills to create a PDMP. However, as was the case with previous PDMP bills that were voted down, these bills face tough opposition.
Other bills designed to fight drug abuse have gained some traction in the Missouri legislature as well. One bill would allow pharmacists to prescribe the opiate overdose remedy Narcan. This drug can save the life of a person who is overdosing on heroin or prescription opiates in a matter of seconds and it comes with no potential for abuse.
Another bill would provide protection from prosecution for people who seek treatment for a person who is overdosing. This “Good Samaritan Bill” would mean that anyone who sees a friend or loved one overdosing couldn’t be prosecuted for having or using drugs themselves.
Detox Provides Path Out of Addiction
As Missouri attempts to find its own way through the opiate abuse crisis, many Missourian families may be left wondering what they can do to help their loved ones battle addiction. If your loved one is hooked on heroin or prescription opiates, professional addiction treatment is the best option to keep him or her safe. Serenity House Detox will provide an immediate and effective intervention to keep your loved one safe and on the path to recovery.