Report: Opioid deaths increasing slowly in Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) _ A new report says that while opioid related deaths continue to increase in Missouri, the growth rate is slowing down.

The Columbia Missourian reports that the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services found that there was a 4.7 percent increase in opioid deaths from 2016 to 2017. That rate is much lower than the 35 percent spike seen from 2015 to 2016.

The department’s release says about 950 people died from opioid use last year.

State officials are focusing on preventative care and legislative action. Columbia started a prescription drug monitoring program last year in response to the opioid crisis and public concern. Pharmacists track information about the drugs they prescribe to patients, which allows doctors to keep track of a patient’s prescription history.
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Information from: Columbia Missourian, http://www.columbiamissourian.com