Federal data released this month depicts that deaths in Kansas and Missouri are escalating owing to the rising drug overdose. Further, the report also suggests that nationally, drug overdose-related fatalities are declining. This month center for disease control and prevention(CCD) released a provisional report that projects drug-related deaths in the US has lessened by nearly 5% in the year 2018. These deaths were at a historical high of around 72,000 in 2017. But this same report also indicates that drug overdose deaths in Kansas, have risen from about 326 in the year 2017 to 341 in 2018. Also, deaths in Missouri increased from 1,406 in the year 2017 up to 1,635 in 2018.
According to the director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Mr. Randall Williams, about 1,100 of state’s drug-overdose deaths that happened in 2018 includes opioids. Also, half of these deaths occurred near the St. Louis area. Williams further stated that Missouri is dealing with an increased presence of concentrated opioids such as carfentanil and fentanyl. This situation presents an even higher risk for opioid overdose. Focus is on upstream approaches for the prevention of opioid misuse. At the same time, concentration is on establishing new measures that will avoid fentanyl overdose.
Missouri and Kansas officials in 2017, signed orders that allow people to purchase naloxone at pharmacies without any prescription. Naloxone is known under the brand name called Narcan. It is the drug that counteracts against opioid overdose. Mr. Randall Williams has signed orders that provide free medication through a grant program to high schools, colleges, and libraries. Officials in Kansas created the drug abuse task force. This task force found that between 2012-2016, more than 80% of death in the state involved prescribed medication. Also, one-third of these deaths involved overdoses of methamphetamines. Reports shows that Missouri doctors are writing fewer opioid prescriptions. This might drive people already addicted to drugs, trying more unsafe streets drugs.