The National Institute for Drug Abuse has compiled statistics that paint a troubling picture of opiate use in St. Louis, Missouri; namely, that the number of patients who underwent treatment for opiates has been steadily increasing throughout the years. Heroin alone caused about 117 cases of death during the first half of 2013, with a staggering number of 2,274 users admitted to drug rehab in Missouri.
Heroin is more prevalent than any other drug in the opiate family because it’s less expensive and remains consistently available and easily accessible to drug addicts. Other opiate, non-heroin drugs have a relatively low number of treatment admissions, reaching about 254 patients in 2013. What’s disturbing about this data, though, is that about 24% of opiate users in St. Louis are under the age of 24, meaning that opiates are most popular among adolescents and young adults who acquire it for recreational use.
The news comes as calls to enact a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) to help curb the abuse of opioids have prompted state legislators to consider making it happen in the next session. In fact, Missouri is the only one state in the entire country that doesn’t have a PDMP. Even so, it’s on you to help a painkiller-addicted loved one by checking them in at professional drug rehab centers in Missouri like the Midwest Institute of Addiction (MIA).
The aforementioned study by a top drugstore benefit firm analyzed at least 36 million painkiller prescriptions issued to 6.8 million insured Americans from 2009 to 2013. Each one was found to have submitted prescriptions at least once. Missouri’s untoward prominence was due to the fact that 16.3 percent of insured residents took a painkiller against the 16.1% national average. Another 5.3 percent of Missourians continued using after 30 days, surpassing the national average of 3.9%.
Many drug rehab centers in Missouri that use medication-assisted rehab would be required to comply, should HB 1133 become a law. Buprenorphine, for example, is a drug cleared for treating narcotic addiction under the Drug Addiction Treatment Act, and is a Schedule III drug. When properly used, this drug could do wonders.
To keep close tabs on dispensing, rehab centers like the Midwest Institute for Addiction only administer medication within the facility. It’s the least a reputable Missouri rehabilitation center can do while it awaits the drug monitoring program the state really needs.