WIUM Tristates Public Radio

opioids

The Illinois State Police says opioid overdoses are declining, but that agency is also reporting an uptick in the use of methamphetamines. 

In the past, meth was homemade, so the state restricted access to some of the ingredients like sudafed. Now, drug cartels are smuggling the drug into the U.S.

As suicide and opioid death numbers climb, researchers investigate how strong a connection exists.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson thinks the state is “long overdue” for a statewide prescription-monitoring database for doctors.

Parson, a Republican, said Wednesday he hopes state legislators will pass a bill legalizing such a program next year. Missouri remains the only state without such a database, which proponents say helps cut down on opioids being sold on the street.

Parson made his remarks during a St. Louis stop on a weeklong statewide tour focusing on health issues. He met with state health officials and St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson to discuss Missourians’ addiction to opioids. The drugs in 2017 killed 760 people in the St. Louis region alone, and 951 in the entire state. One in every 65 deaths in Missouri that year was due to an opioid overdose, according to the the state’s health department.

Governor Bruce Rauner signed a measure on Tuesday that will allow medical cannabis to be used as an alternative treatment for conditions often treated with opioids, such as cancer, HIV, Alzheimer’s and more.

The statistics are clear: Rural America is deeply impacted by the opioid crisis, especially farmers and farm workers. What’s not so easy is figuring out what to do about it, three national agricultural leaders said Sunday, though they all said the real onus is on local communities.

In another step to help prevent more overdose related deaths, the state of Illinois rolled out a 24/7 opioid and substance addiction helpline Tuesday.

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

A doctor handed Melissa Morris her first opioid prescription when she was 20. She had a cesarean section to deliver her daughter, and to relieve post-surgical pain her doctor sent her home with Percocet. On an empty stomach, she took one pill and laid down on her bed.