ST. LOUIS COUNTY (December 11, 2019) - County Executive Sam Page and the St. Louis County Department of Health have launched an initiative aimed at combatting opioid abuse. The “Anyone Can” campaign seeks to spread awareness that addiction can affect anyone while empowering individuals with education and resources to get help.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (NCADA) reports that nearly three people a day died of opioid overdoses in St. Louis in 2018, according to a study released last week. It is the 12th consecutive year of rising drug-related deaths for our region.
The Anyone Can website shares personal stories of addiction as well as resources for those seeking to break the cycle of opioid abuse. Notably, the Anyone Can campaign also provides information on the use and application of the drug naloxone (commonly sold under the brand name Narcan). Naloxone reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. Through Missouri’s Good Samaritan law, naloxone is available over the counter and without a prescription to the public.
“Anyone Can is a crucial message for the public,” explains County Executive Page. “As a doctor, I know first-hand that addiction doesn’t discriminate based on ZIP code, income, or race. Anyone can become addicted – but anyone can offer help, too. We have to remove the stigmas that prevent people from getting help, inform the public on how to employ Narcan, and expand programs like PDMP that give providers tools for early intervention.”
The Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) was initiated in 2017 by the St. Louis County Department of Health and monitors the dispensing and prescribing of schedule II-IV controlled substances to prevent drug misuse. Starting with just 14 jurisdictions, PDMP has expanded; it now covers more than 75 jurisdictions and municipalities across Missouri, informing clinical practices of high-risk patients and opportunities for early interventions. It was championed by County Executive Page while he was still a Councilman and he continues to seek opportunities to expand participating agreements to increase transparency and collaboration.
“We honor the powerful stories of real St. Louis community members who share their experiences as a message of awareness, resilience, and hope, said Spring Schmidt, Acting Director of the St. Louis County Department of Public Health. “We join them in the desire to connect everyone in the community to information, treatment, resources, and recovery assistance to make a difference in this crisis.”
For more information on the Anyone Can campaign visit https://www.anyonecanstl.org/.