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.

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.

Greene County opioid overdose deaths per 100,000

This animated short film by Lily Fang, called Susan's Brain, is provided courtesy of the Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College © 2017. Source

Progress in our Community

Missouri Opioid Crisis Summit

Missouri Opioid Crisis Summit - Springfield KickoffSpringfield 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:

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.

Click here for more information about PDMP for providers

Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Assessment

The Healthy Living Alliance, made up of community leaders from across many sectors in Springfield, is leading the charge for a community mental health and substance abuse assessment. 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.