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Recovery Advocacy Day: Missouri Pushes for Bills to Combat Addiction

Recovery Advocacy DayFebruary 25th was Recovery Advocacy Day  in the state of Missouri.  The day’s discussions were preceded by the delivery of a wooden coffin filled with prescription pill bottles labeled with names of individuals who had tragically died from drug use, to the state capitol building.  Activists rallied together at the capitol as they held signs in their hands reading, “save MO lives, save MO money,” and, “I’m a heroin addict + my life matters.” Their mission? Breaking the stigma of the disease of addiction, and minimizing fatalities resulting from drug abuse in the state.

Recovery Advocacy Day: Fight to End Prescription Drug Abuse

Recovery Advocacy Day allows the opportunity for individuals to be vocal about their concerns regarding drug abuse.  Missouri has seen a tremendous increase in prescription pill overdose in the state.  “We’re at the point now where it’s killing an American every 17 minutes,” projected Chad Sabora, who is part of the Missouri Network for Opiate Reform and Recovery.  With outrageous statistics like this, there’s more than an impending sense of urgency for beneficial bills to be passed.

Missouri residents were excited to campaign for multiple bills on Recovery Advocacy Day this February. Locals pushed for Narcan to be accessible as an over the counter medicine, which counteracts overdoses for heroin and painkillers.  Most importantly, many were vocal about wanting a prescription drug monitoring program, or PDMP in the state, which would help drop prescription drug abuse by having officials mandate drugs.

However, there would still be issues if Missouri were to accept a bill for a PDMP.  “There’s literally 30,000 or more people who would be able to look up your name and find out what you take,” spoke Republican Senator Rob Schaaf, who explained that his bill would prevent fraudulent acts like doctors abusing their authority and would ultimately protect the state.  “So basically my bill takes the doctors out of the equation so it doesn’t make them into policemen.”

Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

The government has found prescription drug monitoring programs, or PDMPs, to be useful in decreasing drug abuse throughout the country, which is why 49 states have passed bills to run these programs; Missouri is the only state without one.  These programs are necessary in order to obtain, administer, and view information that pharmacies distribute from as authorized by doctors.  It is only through these programs that drug abuse has significantly been able to be watched at a careful rate.  When there are programs like PDMPs set in place, states are given the opportunity to explore preventative measures to reduce drug abuse and help decrease the greater public health issue going on in the nation.  On the opposing end, Representative Keith Frederick disagrees with the program, stating, “They don’t work.”  He elaborated, “They are intrusive into the lives of law abiding citizens. They are expensive.  They increase the size and scope of government.  They can be abused, hacked or repurposed.”

Do you have a prescription drug abuse problem causing concern in your life?  Contact The Watershed Texas today so you can take the first step in putting down the pill bottle and being free from the obsession to use.

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