Missouri's Opioid Crisis

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Missouri’s Opioid Crisis

According to Kaiser Health News, about 30,000 people die annually from opioid overdose — overdoses of heroin or prescription painkillers including oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine and fentanyl. Nearly 1,000 of those deaths occur each year in Kansas and Missouri.

Throughout the last decade, abuse of opioids, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine and morphine, has skyrocketed 137 percent in Missouri. The uninsured account for nearly one-third of hospital visits for opioid abuse – A 268 percent increase for this population. Rural regions have seen the largest rate increase. Research sheds light on these alarming statistics.

Additional research suggests a strong link in opioid abuse and heroin addiction with some studies suggesting that three out of four prescription opioid abusers will eventually use heroin as a less expensive source of opioids.

Opioid abuse impacts all Missourians. When the health care system is misused, costs increase for everyone. A multidisciplinary and collaborative solution is necessary to address the problem of prescription drug abuse in our state.