Recovery Advocacy Day 2015 Recap

Photo 2The Missouri Recovery Network’s Recovery Advocacy Day was held February 25, 2015, at the Missouri State Capitol.  Over 200 recovery advocates attended the event and contact was made with 35 legislators to educate and inform them of issues relevant to the recovery movement.

Individuals in long term recovery, those seeking recovery, drug court participants and alumni, recovery support providers, and family members who have lost a loved one as a result of addiction traveled to the capitol from all across the state to share their powerful, real life stories.

Participants were afforded a special treat when Representative Holly Rehder stopped by to discuss the importance of advocacy work, particularly in the recovery movement.

This year’s legislative priorities included:

  • Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (HB 130/SB 63): The prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) is an electronic database that collects data on controlled substance prescriptions dispensed within a state. A PDMP can act as an early warning system for prescribers to avoid dangerous drug interactions and to ensure quality patient care.  Currently, Missouri is the only state out of all 50 to not have a PDMP.
  • Missouri Good Samaritan Bill (HB 539): The bill specifies that an individual who, in good faith, seeks medical assistance for someone who is experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose or other medical emergency cannot be arrested, charged, prosecuted, or convicted of a crime.
  • Narcan Bill (HB 538): Allows a physician to prescribe an opioid antagonistic drug to an individual to administer to individuals suffering from an opioid-related drug overdose.
  • Drug Court Bill (HB 525): Specifies that every circuit court must establish a drug court to provide an alternative for the judicial system to dispose of cases which stem from drug use.

The day was spent educating legislators on the reality of recovery and the many pathways to recovery.  The need to fund recovery support services was at the forefront of those conversations.

“Individuals who suffer from other chronic illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes receive the treatment and ongoing support needed to help them Photo 3manage their illness.  There should be no difference in the treatment of addiction. Stigma continues to play a big part in how the illness is treated and how it is funded,” said Brenda Schell, Executive Director.  “Too many Missourians are afflicted by addiction and the problem is growing at an alarming rate.”

Overall, participants found the event beneficial and overwhelmingly agreed that they would participate again next year.

Click here to view media coverage of the event!

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