More people are dying annually from overdosing on opioids than car accidents and gun violence.
Missouri is no exception.
To put it in perspective, over 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year, with 49,900 of those deaths related to fentanyl, heroin, and prescription opioids.
The real problem is that there isn’t that level of commitment to look at this problem from a policy perspective in Washington, DC.
Members of Congress come to their districts to tell us about a few dollars they added here or there, but no one is taking on this crisis for what it really is.
There is no silver bullet to stop this epidemic. To really take on – and even one day beat – the opioid crisis, we need to do more than give lip service to a state-wide prescription drug monitoring program, we need something real. The big pharmaceutical companies are making a profit on creating addition, and it’s got to stop.
Unfortunately, that will only help to curb future addicts. And we need to help Missourians today.
To help stop the ultimate death of those with an addition, we need to put solutions in the hands who can most use it.
Broadening accessibility to NARCAN for victims, victims’ families, law enforcement, and EMTs is the only short-term reasonable solution.
Once we have our loved ones on the path to safety, it’s going to take a community to help keep them on the right track.
I believe every county in Missouri must have its own treatment center, or at the least, more localized care providers.
We also must ensure those who need treatment can afford it. That means a healthcare system that covers treatments!