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It doesn’t look like Missouri will have a prescription drug monitoring program any time soon.

Even though 49 states have a system in place to monitor the prescribing and dispensing of controlled prescription drugs to patients to prevent abuse, Missouri officials still struggled to come to agreement on certain issues with the bill.

The Missouri Senate recently passed a bill with several amendments to the prescription drug program, including limits on the type of drugs monitored and how long to keep patient records.

The Missouri House refused to accept the amendments and now the bill is at a standstill.

This roadblock comes at a time when opioid abuse is a growing problem in our community said Kristina Hannon, Family Guidance vice-president of Behavioral Health Care.

“All of the other 49 states have been able to adopt such a program in their state and they’ve been able to navigate those barriers that we continue to run into, so all of the other states have had these same conversations we’re having. So I believe at some point we have 49 other models we can look to to address the problems,” Hannon said.

Hannon said she respects the issues of civil liberties and privacy, but we routinely give up some liberties in other arenas and she emphasized this is an issues of safety.

“Your doctor or the person that’s treating you, or any physician whose treating you, should be able to see what other types of medication you’ve gotten that are controlled substances, dangerous medications? Pain medications? Should they be able to see you’ve gotten those medications from three other physicians or should they not be able to see that?” Hannon said.

She added opioid abuse is a growing problem in our city, trailing only behind methamphetamine and alcohol abuse.

“The presence of opiate-use disorder we’ve seen here has grown significantly and it’s continuing to increase,” Hannon said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of drug overdose deaths in the United States involve an opioid. Every day 91 Americans on average die from an opioid overdose.

Alonzo Weston can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPWeston.