Drug overdose deaths are up in Kansas and Missouri, but Missouri faces a crisis

Kansas City's Morning News
August 07, 2019 - 5:39 am

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In Kansas and Missouri, deaths from opioid overdoses are up. In Missouri, they're way up.

New data from the Centers for Disease Control shows that in Missouri, deaths from overdoses increased by more than 200 from 2017 to 2018 from around 1,400 to 1,635.

Officials in Missouri are worried about the trend, and Randall Williams, Cabinet Director for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said those overdose deaths are mostly happening in the St. Louis area.

"Clearly the thing that concerns us the most is the number of deaths from fentanyl and fentanyl derititves in the St. Louis area, where 50% of overdoses occur in Missouri," Williams said.  

Williams said that in Kansas City, Missouri, a different drug is killing people and causing a crisis - methamphetamine. 

"I was just in Kasnas City discussing this," Williams said."And sadly, in the Kansas City area, we're seeing a marked increase in meth deaths."

So what can be done about the increasing number of deaths in Missouri? Williams says the state takes a "parallel approach," preventing addictions proactively and providing treatment to those hooked on dangerous drugs.

It's an uphill battle, though, to ensure fewer deaths from drug overdoses next year. 

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