opioid epidemic | KBIA

opioid epidemic

Rebecca / KBIA

An outbreak of Hepatitis A continues to spread across portions of southeast Missouri and is starting to make its way to more populated areas.

The outbreak was first identified in September 2017, but as of July 23, 2019, there have been 378 confirmed cases throughout 33 Missouri Counties. Some of the hardest hit include Butler, Howell and, more recently, Franklin counties.  

The long-futile effort seeking a statewide prescription drug monitoring program in Missouri now has a prominent advocate — Gov. Mike Parson.

The Republican governor met Wednesday with St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, doctors and other health leaders to discuss ways to combat the lingering opioid epidemic. Parson made it clear at a news conference that high on his priority list is ending Missouri's status as the only state without a prescription drug monitoring program.

MU Health Care to Discuss Opioid Program

Jul 26, 2018

MU Health Care representatives will get together with 4th District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler on Monday afternoon to talk about the status of a medication-assisted opioid recovery program.

Leslie Porth, senior vice president of strategic quality initiatives for the Missouri Hospital Association, and emergency room physician Jonathan Heidt will meet with Hartzler, R-Harrisonville, and other stakeholders in the Opioid State Targeted Response program, according to a news release from the association.

The Missouri county that includes Kansas City is the latest municipality to sue opioid makers, distributors and pharmacies over what it calls the "worst man-made epidemic in modern medical history."

Jackson County alleges in the lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court that the epidemic has burdened the county with opioid-related hospitalizations, emergency medical responses to overdoses, babies born in withdrawal, incarcerations and child welfare cases, The Kansas City Star reports. It says more than 300 people died of opioid overdose deaths in the county from 2013 to 2017.

To Professionals, Pooling Resources Is The Best Solution for Opioid Epidemic

Apr 26, 2018

There might not be a single solution to the current opioid epidemic. Instead, representatives from across the state are talking about combining their efforts to try to lower the rate of opioid addiction and overdose, particularly in rural communities.

Missouri Chief Justice Zel Fischer is calling to expand drug treatment courts to help fight opioid misuse.

Fischer in prepared remarks for the annual State of the Judiciary Wednesday said he expects treatment courts will be on the front lines of the opioid epidemic.

St. Louis Arch
paparutzi / Flickr

Missouri's biggest cities and counties have banded together to track the prescription and sale of opioids.

St. Louis County, the city of St. Louis and several other counties have their own prescription drug monitoring program set to go online next month.

Missouri is the only state without such a system, thanks largely to the efforts of a Republican state senator who has concerns about patient privacy and the potential for health records to be hacked.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

A doctor handed Melissa Morris her first opioid prescription when she was 20 years-old. She had a cesarean section to deliver her daughter, and to relieve post-surgical pain her doctor sent her home with Percocet. On an empty stomach, she took one pill and laid down on her bed.

“I remember thinking to myself, ‘Oh my god. Is this legal? How can this feel so good?’” Morris recalls.

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

The agencies coordinating Missouri’s federal grant to prevent opioid overdose deaths supplied the Columbia Police Department, three other police departments and one fire protection district with the overdose antidote naloxone yesterday.

The agencies also taught the officers and EMTs about the science behind addiction, and showed them how to use the antidote. Rachel Winograd of the Missouri Institute of Mental Health says the most important part of the training was getting buy-in from the first responders.

At a small studio theater on the campus of the University of Indianapolis in June, it was standing room only for a performance of the original play, “Altered”,  an adaptation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

Lesli Butler played the role of Arachne, an expert weaver whose pride in her art had offended the goddess Athena.

“Without weaving I would not have found my identity, my life’s work,” recited Butler, “and to find one’s self in an art form is perfection.”

Deana Kilpatrick smoked crack for the first time when she was 13 years old. “From there,” she says, “I really just spiraled down hill.”

For the next 30 years, drugs and alcohol were part of her life. Then last November, at the age of 43, she moved to Branson, Missouri looking for a new start. It was going pretty well until loneliness drove her to relapse a few months ago. She got a fourth DWI and faced up to four years in jail.