2/22/17 - Opioid Abuse

By Scott Thomas
KFVS12 Vice President and General Manager

You may have heard the saying, "one person can make a real difference."  It's true in Missouri, but that difference in addressing Missouri's opioid abuse epidemic isn't a positive one.

State Senator Rob Schaaf is widely regarded by his colleagues, medical professionals, and leaders in Missouri's eight bordering states, as the one person keeping Missouri from having a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP).  Missouri is the only state without one.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, our nation and the state of Missouri is in the midst of an unprecedented opioid epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control is calling drug databases some of the most promising state-level programs to reduce opioid abuse.

And yet Senator Schaaf , who is also a medical doctor, has fought against it, saying a PDMP would be an invasion of your privacy. In a 2012 filibuster of a PDMP bill, Dr. Schaaf said, "if [drug abusers] overdose and kill themselves it just removes them from the gene pool."

Missouri has even taking on the dubious title as "America's Pill Mill," the only state where professional doctor shoppers can bring all their prescriptions without fear of getting caught.

We think its time Missouri joins the fight against opioid addiction and pass Senate Bill 314. But we need your help. We want you to reach out to Senator Schaaf. Call him.  Email him.  Tell him you don't want Missouri to be the only state not working to stop the abuse of dangerous prescription drugs.

Call Senator Schaaf toll-free: 855-663-3883
E-mail: robert.schaaf@senate.mo.gov

Senate Bill 314 will be debated soon, and there's already concern Senator Schaaf will try to block it. So, should this one lawmaker be making that kind of difference?  We don't think so. And I'm counting on you to keep him from doing it again.

I'm Scott Thomas and that's our ViewPoint.

This is just one of many viewpoints. If you'd like to comment we want to hear from you. Use the e-mail or mailing address below to submit your comments. Be sure to include your name and hometown in case we use your comment on the air.

KFVS12 ViewPoint
310 Broadway
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701