Local officials come together, try to find solution to opioid ep - KCTV5

Local officials come together, try to find solution to opioid epidemic

Posted: Updated:
File -- In 2015, more than 52,000 people died from drug overdose, more than 20,000 of those deaths were related to prescription pain killers. (KCTV5) File -- In 2015, more than 52,000 people died from drug overdose, more than 20,000 of those deaths were related to prescription pain killers. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Kansas City is fighting the opioid epidemic and hoping to prevent more people from getting addicted or dying.

The CDC has been tracking opioid deaths for decades. From 2000 to 2015, they've skyrocketed.

Hospitals throughout the Metro have seen the uptick in people abusing opioids, too.

So, local officials came together on Thursday to try and come up with a solution.

In Missouri, from 2015 to 2016, we've seen a 35 percent increase in opioid overdoses, something one man knows all too well.

“For me, overdoses; that wasn't enough to stop me,” said Kyle Winslow, a recovering addict. “Ruining relationships with girlfriends; that wasn't enough to stop me. Being physically sick; that wasn't enough to stop me.”

For a decade, that cycle would continue on for Winslow. He’s been in recovery for three and a half months.

He started down the perilous road to addiction after an ankle injury as a freshman in high school. Years later, he was introduced to heroin.

“After that, it just got so bad,” he said. “It was like a job, waking up every morning and trying to figure out how I'm going to get my next high, you know.”

On Thursday, representatives from health departments, nonprofits, police departments, and hospitals discussed the growing opioid epidemic and how to tackle the growing problem.

“It's more than just two prongs,” said Darrin D'Agostino with the Kansas City University School of Medicine and Bioethics. “There is the piece that is prevention, which ideally would be the best way to approach this, but we do have a problem and a crisis with those that have a problem. And so we need to fix that and also work with those people so that we don't have relapses and continuation of that same problem.”

Solutions, are still hard to come by, but experts have an eye on what will work.

“What are those things we can do to change, augment, and improve the chronic pain problem?” D'Agostino said. “Not just focus on diversion and addiction, but rather focus on physiology and how we change that and, in fact, that's what's going on right now.”

Other topics that were discussed included what happens before addiction, meaning the prescription drug monitoring program, as well as after recovery begins with sober houses and resources for people trying to get back on track.

Copyright 2017 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.