Report: Opioid deaths may top traffic fatalities in Missouri

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Close up of drug syringe and cooked heroin

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Deaths from opioid overdose could exceed traffic fatalities in Missouri this year, for the first time ever.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has recorded 733 opioid overdose deaths through Aug. 31, compared to 591 traffic deaths recorded by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

For all of last year, the state had 908 opioid overdose deaths and 947 traffic fatalities.

Opioid overdose deaths have become so alarming that President Donald Trump declared a public health emergency. In Missouri, nine summits are taking place across the state to help first responders and others deal with the epidemic.

The St. Louis area is particularly hard-hit. So far this year, 175 deaths have been recorded in St. Louis County and 125 in St. Louis city.