Governor of Missouri Mike Parson recently made a public statement declaring that the state is overdue for a statewide prescription monitoring database for doctors. In every state but Missouri, a state prescription monitoring database is instituted which makes preventing prescription drugs from ending up on the streets a great deal easier for law enforcement, helping to curb possible opioid addictions before the user turns to harder drug like heroin.
The governor made his remarks in St. Louis during a week long tour where he met with state health officials to work out plans for the state’s intent to address pressing health issues. In 2017, 760 people in the St. Louis region died from opioid overdoses with one in every 65 deaths in the state being due to opioid abuse. These numbers come from the state’s health department most recent records.
The database would allow doctors to have access to patient histories with opioid based painkillers to get a better picture of who might be at risk of being an addict or risks becoming an addict when they’re in a position of needing to prescribe pain killing agents. Other states that have implemented some form of the database have had moderate success at preventing addictions in this way as well as keeping illicit reselling of the drugs from happening as often.
“We all know that prescriptions is where this problem started, and prescriptions is where some of this problem will end,” stated St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, who was responsible for instituting a city-wide database ahead of the state’s movement to create such a tool.
The St. Louis database has been in effect since 2017 and has helped prevent ‘doctor-shopping’, where people travel from doctor to doctor to receive painkiller prescriptions for drugs like oxycodone multiple times for the same problem. While the database built for the St. Louis area was done with an executive order and not able to achieve the level informational usefulness of that proposed by Gov. Mike Parson, it has indeed proven at least partially helpful as an assistant to doctors to prescribe opioids to those patients in need. The full program that is currently being proposed would have far more information making assessing the risks of addiction to patients easier and spotting fraudulent suppliers and scalpers far more effective, if the other states who currently use similar systems are of any indication.
Parson believes the statewide program could possibly go into effect as early as next year and offered vocal support for the initiative set forth by other states.
“You’ve got new leadership in the house of representatives, you’ve got new leadership in the senate, you’ve got a new governor in place right now, so I think there’s an opportunity,” referring to previous administration members who consistently voted against drug-monitoring programs who recently stepped down.
If you or anyone you know might be suffering from addiction or at risk of addiction, please call Northbound’s drug helpline at 866-311-0003. This drug addiction hotline is confidential and staffed by professional counselors who can help diagnose and offer treatment options for those who might be suffering from substance abuse disorder and offers drug use help.