Panel discussion explains how opioids are impacting the Ozarks


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The opioid crisis has been a conversation for years, but what does it mean to people in Springfield?

That was the topic tonight at a panel discussion at the Library Center.

Attendee Stan Mathes feels people shouldn’t rely on prescription medication.

“If you can find a mix of physical therapy and other more natural ingredients that would help,” Mathes said.

One panelist at the event talked about the opioid epidemic affecting many.

Heather Lyons-Burney, with the UMKC School of Pharmacy at MSU, said they estimate through the CDC that 130 Americans die every single day from an opioid overdose.”

That includes Missouri.

“When we look at opioid overdose rates county by county in our state, Greene County as well as some of our surrounding counties, there’s a significant amount of opioid overdose deaths,” Lyons-Burney said.

Overdoses are reported to local emergency departments every day.

“It’s critically important that we look at that rate and one of the big things that we’re working on doing is getting people to understand about Naloxone,” Lyons-Burney said.

Naloxone is a drug that reverses an overdose. Lyons-Burney said she never leaves home without it.

“What if I come across someone who I am concerned that, I’m in Downtown Springfield or wherever in the country, and they are passed out?” Lyons-Burney said.

The Community Partnership of the Ozarks has coalitions dedicated to substance use.

Lyons-Burney says people are invited to get involved and learn more.

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