House Democrats offer bills aimed at ending opioid crisis

10 months 4 hours 58 minutes ago Tuesday, December 19 2017 Dec 19, 2017 Tuesday, December 19, 2017 2:43:00 PM CST December 19, 2017 in News
By: Kyreon Lee, KOMU 8 Reporter
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JEFFERSON CITY - The House Democrats announced a legislation package aimed at addressing the growing opioid problem in Missouri.

Rep. Gail McCann Beatty, D-Kansas City, identified several proposals for battling the opioid problem.

"The PDMP is simply one of the tools in our toolbox, but various members have come up with some additional legislation that we think is important," 

Bills filed by members include the disposal of unused prescriptions, ensuring prescribers are educated on how to prescribe drugs, holding prescribers accountable, adopting bond regulations, providing treatment options for individuals suffering from substance disorders such as postpartum women, under the Show-Me Healthy Babies Programs, insurance coverage of medication, providing CDB oil and legalizing needle exchange programs.

"It may not include everything that we need to, but an attempt to address this from a number of different fronts," Beatty said. 

Every state except Missouri has a prescription drug monitoring program.

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens signed an executive order over the summer allowing limited tracking of certain prescription information.

Earlier in the month, Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, R-MO, held a hearing to explore the opioid epidemic crisis.

Blunt addressed three key proposals during the December 5 meeting. He addressed that mental health services need to be implemented.

“If you’re going to effectively address opioid addiction, we need that those suffering can access effective treatment,” Blunt said.

He also stated that there needs to be an effort to end the spread of addiction and pain management options that will not lead to addiction. 

Beatty said she thinks the biggest problem between the Democrats and Republicans will be where the funding goes.

"I think you are going to see some overlap. I think you'll see that there are a number of proposals, but marking those funds for different things."

House Democrats are focusing on improving health care issues. 

"What we have now simply doesn't do what we need it to do. It's not binding and we need to be dealing with both the doctor shopping and as well as the over prescribing and so we need to have a state-wide, quality PDMP program," Beatty said.

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