Burrell Behavioral Health

Roy Blunt
Scott Harvey / KSMU

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt says “Nothing will be more innovative than treating behavioral health like all other health.”  

That’s the goal behind the Excellence in Mental Care Act, which the Missouri Republican introduced alongside Michigan Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow in 2014. It puts community mental health centers on an equal footing with other health centers.

Ryan Welch / KSMU

Nearly 17 percent of Greene County students grades six-12 considered attempting suicide within the past year. That’s according to a student survey conducted by Missouri Department of Mental Health.

And officials say the threat of suicide has been on the rise.

Michele Skalicky

The name of the subject in this story has been altered to protect his identity

"Ryan" is addicted to heroin.  He wished to remain anonymous, but he wanted to share his story, which began at age 14 when a friend offered him hydrocodone, a prescription opioid, that the boy had been prescribed for a toothache.  The 25-year-old was only nine when his mom passed away from cancer, and, although he’d gone to counseling, he’d never found a way to deal with the trauma. 

reference.com

The name of the person in this story struggling with addiction has been changed to protect his identity

Prescription opioids help people deal with pain, but more and more people are abusing them, and some are dying from their addiction.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prescription opioids, such as hydrocodone and oxycodone, continue to be involved in more overdose deaths than any other drug.  And prescription drug abuse is a key risk factor for heroin addiction.

Michele Skalicky

Opioids, both prescription and illicit, are the main driver of drug overdose deaths in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.   More than 33,000 people died in the United States in 2015 from opioid overdoses, the latest year for which numbers are available. 

Greene County had 97 overdose deaths in 2015, and, of those, 61 were opioid-related.

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