The opioid crisis is now a nationwide public health emergency. President Trump made that declaration yesterday, although he didn’t pledge any federal money to battle the problem.
The move does allow the government to redirect resources and expand medical services in rural areas. The University of Missouri school of medicine is now using telemedicine to connect doctors in under-served areas with opioid specialists.
Dr. Karen Edison says the technology allows the best possible treatment to reach people who normally wouldn’t have access to it.
“The promise of the program is really to take evidence based, expert care out through inderserved Missouri, and into inner city Missouri, anywhere where there is a need for expertise.”
Even if the federal government can subsidize various programs to help fight the epidemic, Edison thinks treatment needs to be delivered at the frontline.
“Really, health care is best if it’s delivered regionally, if not locally, because local health care providers know the culture,” said Edison. “They know the resources. They know the infrastructure. They know the town where that patient lives, and how to get things done for that patient.”
The Centers for Disease Control says opioid overdose deaths in Missouri went up 63-percent from 2014 to 2015. The agency says about 91 Americans a day die from opioid overdoses.
Missourinet affiliate KSSZ provided content for this story