By Chris Conroy
KFVS12 Vice President and General Manager
Recently I was surprised to learn that Missouri lawmakers were disagreeing over whether or not they should implement a statewide drug monitoring program. Missouri is the only state without a program that allows doctors or pharmacists to track patient history when it comes to opioids. According to the AP, Missouri is now among the 20 worst states for drug overdose deaths, with 1 out of 66 deaths tied to heroin or opioids. Without a tracking system in place similar to what the other 49 states seemed to have figured out and implemented, this trend is sure to continue.
Well it's time to do something about it. I'm calling on Missouri lawmakers to put their differences and special interests aside and get a statewide tracking system in place to help people in Missouri. The tracking systems like the ones in the rest of the country are not in place to keep people from getting the help they need. They're used to help identify things like doctor shopping and over-prescribing of opioid based and other drugs. Several Heartland counties have joined a monitoring program that started in St Louis, but this is a piecemeal solution to a statewide issue.
Embattled Missouri Governor Eric Grietens did something right when he signed an executive order creating a drug monitoring program last year. But now some legislators are attempting to gut the program. If the drug monitoring program that Governor Greiten's signed into executive order isn't the right one, then make it a priority to implement one that does the most good for the citizens of Missouri. And do it soon. Lives depend on it. This is a needed step or the other 49 states wouldn't have done it.
Putting our differences aside and doing what's best for the citizens of Missouri makes this A Better Heartland.