Jackson County set to take action to track prescription drug abu - KCTV5

Jackson County set to take action to track prescription drug abuse

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Missouri is still the only state that doesn't have a prescription drug registry, prompting leaders in Jackson County to take action of their own. (KCTV5) Missouri is still the only state that doesn't have a prescription drug registry, prompting leaders in Jackson County to take action of their own. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Prescription drug abuse one of the leading causes of an overdose in the country.

Missouri is still the only state that doesn't have a prescription drug registry, prompting leaders in Jackson County to take action of their own.

Jackson County leaders want to start a county-wide registry. They expect to pass a plan Monday, and it would take effect in January.

They say people will soon see Saint Louis County do the same. The hope is if the two largest counties in Missouri have a registry, it will pressure state lawmakers to address what health experts call a 'crisis.'

Jackson County legislator Dan Tarwater met Misti just weeks after losing his brother Bryan who fought addiction for more than a decade.

“His death certificate, it will be heart attack. That's not what he died of. What he died of is his addiction to pain killers,” Tarwater said.

Misti is one year strong into her own recovery.

"This time last year, I was a total mess,” she said.

She said it started innocently enough with a back injury.

"You could take one tablet four times a day. Well if one is good, what about two,” she said. "My son would say I've got a problem and I wanted to deny it. These were prescribed to me, if they're prescribed to me I can't be an addict." 

Jackson County legislators expect to pass an ordinance for a county-wide registry that will monitor how many prescriptions a person has and who is writing them.

"People are very easy to get prescription pills. That's the hard piece … so highly accessible in Missouri,” said Katie Holtz, a therapist at Signature Psychiatric Hospital.

Holtz and other health experts at Signature Psychiatric Hospital hope it can put an end to doctor shopping when those suffering seek out multiple prescriptions at once.

"If you've lost all hope, just looking to getting scripts refilled, seek help. We do recover. It really is great. Life becomes life again,” Misti said.

For those close to addiction, forever changed from a life lost, there is some solace in knowing not every outcome is the same.

"We have to start somewhere. This has to stop. You heard the story of Misti earlier. That is the exact same story as my brother,” Tarwater said.

Legislators say there is no opposition to the county-registry that is estimated to cost about $27,000.

If Missouri does pass a registry law, the state would likely take on the cost of the county's plan.

Copyright 2016 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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