Springfield is the first of nine Missouri cities to hold events aimed at raising awareness for the opioid epidemic.
Thursday’s “Missouri Opioid Crisis Summit: Springfield Kickoff” will bring together community and state leaders to discuss the drug crisis and best interventions moving forward.
The event comes days after Gov. Eric Greitens signed an executive order establishing a prescription drug monitoring program throughout the state. The database will analyze prescriber and pharmacy prescription and dispensing data.
Missouri was the last state in the nation to adopt such a program.
According to the Department of Health and Senior Services, which is tasked with created the database, one out of every 66 deaths in 2016 was due to opioid or opiate abuse. In 2015, that figure was one out of every 89 deaths.
The Opioid Summit Kickoff will take place at the White River Conference Center starting at 8:30 a.m. Thursday. The event is free, but guests must register.
Gov. Greitens is one of several scheduled speakers Thursday. Participants will also hear from, among others, Springfield health, law enforcement and economic development officials.
Eight other Missouri cities are scheduled to hold opioid awareness events in the coming weeks and months.