Missouri seeks to change laws in battle against opioid crisis


Good idea. I wish we had this here:

Like many other states, Missouri is trying many different methods to combat the opioid crisis that continues to rage. As part of that effort, the legislature is reexamining some of the laws on its books to see if changes can possibly stem the problem.

One of the rules it has identified relates to the ability of locations to accept and dispose of certain types of medications. As currently written, pharmacies – such as Rite Aid and Walgreens – are not allowed to accept prescription medications for disposal. Currently, opioids may be disposed of during specific collection drives that only happen once or twice per year or by dropping the drugs off at the local police department.

However, the legislature is proposing to change that rule, allowing these pharmacies to establish “opioid disposal kiosks”, which would be open to anyone seeking to safely dispose of no-longer-needed prescription opioids.

“These medications are dangerous if consumed improperly and they are dangerous if disposed of improperly,” said Gary Burger, a North St Louis personal injury attorney with Burger Law. “It is imperative that these laws be changed to create year-round disposal locations for these drugs, so they are removed from circulation properly.” Additionally, having police departments as drop-off locations likely discourages individuals who are illegally in possession of these medications from dropping them off as they try to stop using the drugs. “The idea of taking illegally obtained medications or the prescription of another person to the police station probably does not sit well with anyone because it is a felony in Missouri to possess drugs not prescribed for you,” says Burger.

Most of the 200 million opioid prescriptions dispensed every year are never finished by the patient. This vast surplus of medication contributes greatly to the crisis, yet very often individuals do not realize the impact of these remaining medications. Additionally, many individuals who do not realize that medications such as these can cause serious environmental problems if disposed of down drains or in toilets.  

As deaths from opioid overdoses continue to increase, states will have to continue to examine where changes can be made to cut down on the amount of these drugs that are readily available to the population.