I am not going to blame doctors for prescribing medicine that they think will help their patients. I believe that practitioners need more information to ensure that patients are not seeking opioids from multiple locations.

We need a statewide database in Missouri available to doctors that contains patients and the prescriptions they have received. Medical staff could enter into the system every time a particular patient receives a prescription for opioid painkillers. Doctors would have access to this database to determine if patients are “doctor shopping” to get more drugs than are necessary.

This is a simple system that would help to alleviate some of the problems. Rather than demonize doctors, we should give them the tools that they can use to responsibly prescribe what their patients need. What these patients need is also not up to a government organization. Every patient is different, and these decisions should be made between a patient and his or her doctor.

We should not let China off the hook on this either.  China, with the help of Mexican drug cartels, are flooding our streets with Fentanyl and other dangerous opioids.  They should be held to account.  We need to impose sanctions on China until the flow of Fentanyl stops.