A Look Inside...

Opioid addiction is a national crisis. In 2015, 40,000 Americans were killed by a drug overdose—and 2/3 of those were caused by non-heroin opioids, such as Vicodin, OxyContin, and Percocet. These deaths are steadily increasing, especially among older Americans, as opioids are prescribed to patients recuperating from injuries or dealing with chronic pain.

Deaths in America (2013)

Missouri has the seventh highest drug overdose rate in the country and sells more prescription opioids than any other Midwestern state.

Just as troubling, we are also the only state without a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP).

LEARN MORE: Opioids — Crisis in Missouri

INFOGRAPHIC: Opioids - Crisis in Missouri

This is a grave mistake. Jefferson City’s inaction has left communities to battle an overwhelming public health crisis on their own. While Claire continues to advocate for a statewide program, she also shaped language in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act to make sure that Missouri communities shouldering the burden for regional PDMP’s have access to federal resources normally reserved for state governments.

Learn more about the importance of a Missouri-wide PDMP and find resources for combatting opioids in your community.

What is a PDMP?

Prescription drug monitoring programs track the prescribing patterns and dispensing of controlled prescription drugs across the state, and flag potential abuse or drug diversion. These programs help doctors and pharmacists identify patients at high-risk of addiction and overdose, and allows medical professionals to intervene before it’s too late. According to the Centers for Disease Control, PDMPs’ have been shown to reduce admissions for substance abuse treatment and prevent doctor-shopping for controlled substances.

Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) graphic by CDC

Graphic from the Centers for Disease Control

Two years after implementing a PDMP and preventing health care providers from dispensing prescription opioids directly from their offices, Florida saw a 50% decrease in oxycodone overdose deaths.

After just one year of requiring prescribers to check the state’s PDMP before writing scripts for painkillers, New York saw a 75% drop in doctor-shopping.

So why is Missouri the only state in the country without a PDMP? Because legislators in Jefferson City have refused to act. The Missouri General Assembly failed again this legislative session to pass critical legislation to establish a prescription drug monitoring program.

Claire's Fight for Missouri Communities

In light of the state legislature’s inaction, Claire is committed to helping Missouri communities address this crisis regionally.

Claire worked with Senators across the aisle to make sure that Congress’s Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act would allow local governments operating in a state without a PDMP to apply for grants  through the Department of Health and Human Services. Otherwise, only statewide programs would have been eligible for these federal resources.

As Ranking Member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, Claire has addressed the effects of rising drug prices—including naloxone, a widely used opioid reversal drug whose price rose 17-fold between 2014 and 2016—on communities fighting addiction, and led a committee hearing on opioid abuse among seniors. She has toured the state to talk about the problem with law enforcement, medical professionals, and families, and made several stops with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who was appointed by President Obama to lead an interagency effort on heroin and opioid abuse in America.

READ NOW: Claire's Opioids Op-Ed with Secretary Vilsack

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Find Missouri opioid treatment programs near you:

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Data provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (Aug. 2016)

Learn more about opioid addiction and treatment options with these online resources:

Are you a healthcare provider or advocate interested in learning more about PDMP's? Here are a few tools to get you started:


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