Access To Naloxone: Signed, Sealed & Delivered Across the State

On June 18, barely 24 hours after signing an executive order for a statewide program that will monitor unusual physician prescribing patterns, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens was on his way to NCADA to further promote his commitment to addressing the ongoing opioid crisis.

Surrounded by NCADA staff, community partners, concerned citizens, and news media, Greitens offered remarks about the importance of addressing this epidemic and – to the surprise of many – how he and his family have been personally affected.

Dr. Randall Williams, Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, accompanied the governor and applauded the courage and advocacy efforts of the individuals present who had lost family and friends.

Immediately after his appearance at our office, NCADA staff followed Governor Greitens to Babler State Park to conduct a naloxone training for park rangers as part of the MO-HOPE project.

As a partner in MO-HOPE, NCADA has been providing overdose education and distributing naloxone for the better part of a year – activities that are now part of the governor’s new opioid initiative.

In MO-HOPE’s first year, more than 5,800 doses of naloxone have been distributed to police departments, fire departments, primary care providers, treatment providers, homeless shelters, probation and parole officers, and anyone else who may experience or witness an overdose. Now, with the governor’s passionate support, we look forward to what we can accomplish in year two and beyond.

Governor Greitens will be holding eight Opioid Summits around the state, and NCADA Executive Director Howard Weissman was asked to speak at all of them to voice the importance of Prevention.

Summits have already been held in Springfield, Jefferson City and Cape Girardeau, with future meetings to take place in Joplin, Poplar Bluff, Kirksville, St. Joseph, Columbia, Kansas City, and,
eventually, St. Louis.