Missouri's U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill is planning a hearing this week on the growing abuse of heroin and prescription painkillers.
The hearing is planned for tomorrow morning in the Governor's Office Building in Jefferson City. McCaskill, a Democrat, notes in a news release that Missouri is the only state without a prescription drug monitoring program that would keep people from "doctor shopping" to obtain prescription drugs.
State lawmakers have resisted enacting such a program for more than a decade because of worries about the security of a government database with medical information. Federal data shows a rise in drug overdoses and heroin use.
Researchers say abuse of opioid painkillers is partly to blame for the rise in heroin. That's because the painkillers are often a precursor to heroin.