McCaskill Announces Resource and Information Page During Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week
Senator continues effort to tackle Missouri’s opioid epidemic
WASHINGTON – During Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today launched a resource and information page on her Senate website as she continues her work to make Missouri families and communities more secure from the public health epidemic. The resource page, which is at: mccaskill.senate.gov/opioids provides Missourians with an overview of the epidemic both nationally and in Missouri. The page explains why Missouri is the only state without a prescription drug monitoring program and why such a program remains a critical step in combatting the opioid epidemic. It also provides a map and contact information of treatment centers across the state.
“We’ve got to learn more about this epidemic and take whatever steps we can to protect communities in our state—that’s what this week is all about,” McCaskill said. “I’m going to do everything in my power to provide drug treatment resources to our state, hold drug-dealers and shady providers accountable, and prod state lawmakers to quit isolating our state and finally create a state prescription drug monitoring program.”
Keeping up her fight against the growing opioid epidemic, McCaskill recently joined a bipartisan effort in the Senate to urge the Medicaid program to expand coverage for those suffering from substance abuse. On her recent tour of Missouri with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, McCaskill highlighted the need for change in Missouri law to create a prescription drug monitoring program. Among Midwestern states, Missouri ranks number one in the rate of prescription opioids sold in the region. It is the only state without a prescription drug monitoring program. McCaskill also traveled to Jefferson City, Mo. earlier this year to hold a field hearing of the Senate Special Committee on Aging and highlight the national epidemic of increased opioid addiction, abuse, and overdose deaths.
A motion shaped by McCaskill was successfully included in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act—federal legislation that was recently signed into law which provides resources to states to combat the number of prescription drug and heroin deaths across the country—which enables St. Louis County’s network of county-level monitoring programs to be eligible to apply for federal resources. The language McCaskill successfully added would allow local governments in Missouri with drug monitoring programs to apply for a new Department of Health and Human Services grant to establish, maintain, or improve their local drug monitoring program. Without this provision, eligibility for this federal grant funding would have been limited to states.
Visit mccaskill.senate.gov/opioids for information and resources related to Missouri’s opioid epidemic.