Dr. Paul Thomlinson

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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.

Dr. Steven Bishop
Scott Harvey / KSMU

Tuition-free healthcare occupational training is now an option for hundreds of individuals in the Ozarks, thanks to a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The funding benefits the City of Springfield’s Department of Workforce Development in partnership with Ozarks Technical Community College. The coalition that applied for the grant says it seeks to support economic growth and strengthen the pipeline of the region’s skilled workers by providing training opportunities to unemployed, underemployed and disadvantaged populations.

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A conference months in the making will bring together professionals from the fields of mental health, health care, and law on Thursday in Springfield. Dubbed Mental Health, Healthcare, the Law and Ethics Conference, the event is an effort to bridge the gaps between the three professions.

“We’ve all been trained in very different ways and we serve very different purposes but they intersect constantly,” said Crista Hogan, executive director of the Springfield Metropolitan Bar.