Task force meets to address Missouri's opioid crisis

1 month 2 days 2 hours ago Thursday, February 27 2020 Feb 27, 2020 Thursday, February 27, 2020 4:33:00 PM CST February 27, 2020 in News
By: Stephanie LaChance, KOMU 8 News Reporter

JEFFERSON CITY - The opioid crisis throughout the United States can not be solved overnight. However, Missouri lawmakers are taking matters into their own hands and are working to make a change for good.

Thursday afternoon in Jefferson City, the Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment met with medical professionals to hear what changes they want to see.

According to Missouri State Highway Patrol, one in three Missouri families are affected by the opioid crisis. Three people in Missouri die from an overdose on any given day.

Dawn Patrick, a nurse practitioner in St. Louis said a lot of patients have obstacles they can't overcome.

"A lot of patients do not have the money up front to come in for services," Patrick said.

Patrick said she has seen more than four overdoses in her workplace. She mentioned in her testimony that one of her patients was 10 years old when he was introduced to heroine and still struggles from addiction at 24. 

"I see people who come from nothing and I also see patients who come from money," Patrick said. "It goes to show what we are seeing in our communities."

The task force is focusing on how they can directly impact those struggling from addiction. Next month they plan on going more in depth on how addiction impacts Missouri prisons and what can be done.

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