A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC report says drug overdose death rates in Missouri are higher than the national rate.
Missouri is one of 20 states with a rate higher than the U.S. rate. It's also the only state in the nation without a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP).
Rep. Holly Rehder (R - Sikeston) will pre-file bill in December that would implement a statewide PDMP. She's tried to pass PDMP legislation over the past several years, but no bill has passed.
Columbia joined St. Louis County in establishing it's own PDMP in 2017. A pharmacy tech at Walgreens told ABC 17 News it's been helpful in terms of keeping people healthier and safer. He said before the PDMP, there was no real way to track people who may bounce around from pharmacy to pharmacy.
The CDC report says drug overdose death nationwide involving synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, increased 71 percent per year from 2013 to 2017.
According to the Boone County Department of Health and Human Services, 16 Boone County residents died of an opioid overdose in 2017. In 2016, there were 12.
According to the Boone County Medical Examiner's Office, there have been 13 opioid-related fatalities, so far, in 2018.