Letter to the Editor

Shanna Chapman: Legislation addresses Missouriís opioid problem

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Dear Editor:

As the only state in the nation without prescription drug monitoring program, Missouriís nurse practitioners applaud Senator Dave Schatzís efforts to address the growing problem of opioid addiction. Senate bills 231 and 314, both filed by Sen. Schatz, is a step in the right direction towards providing healthcare providers with the tools needed to ensure that patient safety remains a top priority.

In a recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study, the rate of opioid deaths in Missouri are almost double that of other states within the U.S. Prescription opioids while useful for pain management, can become easily abused. The longer a patient remains on these medications, the higher the probability for abuse, and the more inclined the patient is to turn to illicit drugs such as heroin. As many Missouri communities can attest, this is very real and problematic and is becoming an epidemic that countless families of all backgrounds grapple with. Senator Schatz is offering a solution.

A prescription drug monitoring program is a useful tool to identify patterns, trends, and potential risk for our patients. In addition to helping catch potentially dangerous pharmaceutical conflicts, it will also provide healthcare providers with a patientís prescriptive history, identifying that an individual is at risk for addiction, they can immediately take steps to help patients either overcome or avoid opioid abuse.

It is my sincere hope that the Missouri General Assembly will earnestly consider the lifesaving merits of Sen. Schatzís bills. I encourage his colleagues in the Senate and House to act this session to make Missouri the final state to implement PDMP.


Shanna Chapman, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP


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