Opioid Crisis in Greene County
The opioid epidemic has become a crisis in Missouri and nation-wide, with opioid-related deaths multiplying and treatment difficult to find and afford. Addiction can impact anyone, regardless of who they are, who they know, or how much money they make.
Opioids in local news:
- Number of drug-addicted newborns rises dramatically in Missouri (KY3, February 8, 2017)
- Opioid abuse: Growing concern for law enforcement, lawmakers (KSPR, March 28, 2017)
- Heroin trade, abuse burns out of control in Springfield (KY3, June 7, 2017)
- Opioid epidemic in the Ozarks continues as attorney general files lawsuit (KY3, June 21, 2017)
- 'I'm proud of her. She fought': Mom speaks out after former Kickapoo cheerleader overdoses (Springfield News-Leader, October 14, 2017)
- Former Kickapoo High School cheerleader dies from a drug overdose, her mother is speaking out (KY3, October 15, 2018)
- Law enforcement working to tackle opioid crisis (Fox 5 News, November 13, 2017)
- Counterfeit opioids flooding the streets, users beware (KY3, November 20, 2017)
- Opioid deaths paced to exceed traffic fatalities in Missouri (KY3, November 20, 2017)
- Opioid death rate continues to climb (Ozarks First, November 21, 2017)
- Doctors call fentanyl the opioid that outlasts the antidote (KY3, December 5, 2017)
Since 1999, overdose deaths in the U.S. have quadrupled, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Locally, Greene County opioid overdoses have similarly grown, from a rate of 8.6 deaths per 100,000 in 2000 to 31.6 deaths per 100,000 in 2015.
Progress in our Community
Missouri Opioid Crisis Summit
Springfield was chosen as the community to kick off a tour of Missouri to bring awareness to and spur action on the growing opioid epidemic in our state.
The Missouri Opioid Crisis Summit was led by Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Director Dr. Randall Williams. This nine-city tour marked an opportunity to take the conversation about opioids in Missouri to a new level. In the months leading up to the Springfield Kickoff event, local headlines were dominated by stories of opioid abuse and the toll that overdose deaths have taken on the Springfield area. This summit brought together leaders from a variety of sectors—first responders, health care, the faith community, nonprofits and government—to discuss the opioids crisis and the best interventions moving forward.
The Springfield Kickoff, held on July 20, 2017, was sponsored by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, CoxHealth, Mercy, Jordan Valley Community Health Center, the City of Springfield and the Healthy Living Alliance. Around 400 members of our community attended this event.
Documents and Links:
- Presentation files:
- Watch the entire event here
Missouri Opioid Crisis Summit in the news:
- Here's what to expect at Thursday's opioid summit (Springfield News-Leader, July 18, 2017)
- Governor, Local Health and Law Enforcement to Speak at Springfield Opioid Summit (KSMU, July 19, 2017)
- Governor visits Springfield for Opioid Crisis Summit (KSPR, July 20, 2017)
- Stories of addiction highlight Springfield opioid summit (Springfield News-Leader, July 20, 2017)
Prescription Drug Monitoring Program
In July of 2017, the Springfield City Council and Greene County Commission voted to implement a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program as the first step in combating the growing opioid epidemic in our community. Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) serve an essential function in combating prescription drug abuse by collecting data from pharmacies on controlled substance prescriptions that have been dispensed, and making it available to authorized users by means of a secure, electronically-accessible database.
PDMP in the news:
- While Jeff City debates, Springfield eyes local prescription drug database (KSMU, March 31, 2017)
- Springfield will consider prescription drug tracking program (KY3, June 6, 2017)
- After legislative quagmire, Greitens creates statewide database to offset opioid crisis (Springfield News-Leader, July 17, 2017)
- Springfield pharmacist welcomes new statewide tool to combat opioid epidemic (KY3, July 17, 2017)
- Springfield City Council votes to implement local PDMP (OzarksFirst, July 24, 2017)
- Prescription Drug Monitoring Program approved by Springfield City Council, Greene County Commission (KSMU, July 25, 2017)
- Missouri finally has prescription drug monitoring, so why can't prescribers use it? (KSMU, August 7, 2017)
- Monitoring program for opioids takes effect in Missouri (KY3, September 1, 2017)
- First numbers available from prescription drug tracking program (KY3, October 18, 2017)
- PDMP counties in Southwest Missouri growing (KSMU, October 27, 2017)
- Prescription monitoring program spreads in Missouri, head of AMA says it's not enough (Springfield News-Leader, October 31, 2017)
Mental Health Assessment
The Healthy Living Alliance, made up of community leaders from across many sectors in Springfield, is leading the charge for a mental health needs assessment for our community. The assessment will focus on the goals of improving the system of mental health and substance abuse delivery, reducing stigma, and developing collaborative paths forward for a better future.
The assessment was announced at an event in November of 2017. Two local mothers shared the stories of how they lost their children due to mental health and substance abuse issues. You can watch the livestream from this event here.
This assessment will be led by Crescendo Consulting Group, and it is expected to last 12-18 months. A significant grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health has made possible this first-of-its-kind effort for Springfield. The $252,500 grant will fund an assessment with the goal of measuring the effects of stigma on mental health and substance abuse, the impact of these issues on other health-related outcomes and other emerging needs or concerns. Ultimately, this assessment is designed to lead to a conversation about how Springfield can best leverage its resources to better serve our community needs.
Mental Health Assessment in the news:
- Springfield gets $252,000 grant to assess area mental health-substance abuse services (KY3, November 17, 2017)
- How is Springfield’s collective mental health? Experts are studying that now. (Springfield News-Leader, November 17, 2017)
- Springfield works to solve mental health issues in community (Fox 5 News, November 17, 2017)
- Greene County Health Department looks into rise in mental illness (November 17, 2017)