Capitol hosts Recovery Advocacy Day

4 months 1 week 4 days ago February 15, 2017 Feb 15, 2017 Wednesday, February 15 2017 Wednesday, February 15, 2017 3:03:00 AM CST in News
By: John Saltzman KOMU 8 News
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COLUMBIA – Missouri Recovery Network is hosting Recovery Advocacy Day at the State Capitol on Wednesday to inform state legislators on substance abuse recovery in the state of Missouri.

Many advocacy groups will be attending, as the events start at 8 am with opening remarks from the groups will kick the day off.

The advocacy and education outreach coordinator for the Missouri Advocacy Network, David Stoecker, said he is excited to be involved and get the message out about substance abuse recovery.

“I speak about my recovery every chance I get its who I am, it’s part of my character. It’s because I want to change the stigma that’s out there about substance abuse disorders and recovery,” said Stoecker.

Stoecker continued by adding people assume substance abusers even once sober are chronically going back and someone who isn’t contributing to society.

The Missouri Recovery Network will emphasize what steps can be taken to continue to help those who need it and how to take those steps to legislation.

“House bill 80, House bill 88, House bill 294 which is also Senate bill 314 and the main talking points of these bills are whether or not someone should be charged if drugs or paraphernalia were found after calling 911 in a drug overdose situation,” said Stoecker.

Stoecker said he has heard numerous stories from people who had loved ones overdose, and nobody called 911 because they were worried about the paraphernalia in the room.

“I have a friend that is coming up tomorrow named Cindy Byers-Smith and her son Craig overdosed in front of his friends and they just stood around for half an hour after he aspirated not knowing what to do. They were afraid to call 911 because of the things the authorities would find but if they had made that call she would still have her son,” said Stoecker.

The other talking points of the bills stem from the narcotics control act, which is also known as the prescription drug-monitoring program. Stoecker and his associate Eric Moffitt highlighted the fact that Missouri is the only state that doesn’t have this.

“It allows doctors and pharmacists around the state to use the same database. It also allows doctors to give better treatment because if someone comes in who forgot what their prescription was, it allows doctors to pull up the database and see what prescription they are on,” said Stoecker.

Wednesday's events are meant to connect citizens with legislators on these issues and Stoecker says hopefully to also increase funding for these efforts and share the important stories.

“I overdosed 3 times and was brought back and if it wasn’t for that I wouldn’t be able to have the impact that I have today with the non profit I started,” said Stoecker.

The Recovery Advocacy Day events run from 8 am to just after noon, and everyone is encouraged to come and share their stories and connect with state legislators to help affect change by contacting them through morecovery.org.

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