MTPR

Opioids

Morphine pills.
Eric Norris (CC-BY-2) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Lawmakers will study prisoner solitary confinement and meth and opioid abuse during the legislative interim as they begin to shape new policy proposals for the 2019 session.

Bozeman Democratic Representative Zach Brown
Montana legislature

The sponsor of a bill that would mandate limits on opioid prescriptions in Montana now says he’s willing to abandon that idea at the request of physicians in the state.

Mike Albans

Across the country, and in Montana, more and more people are having the kind of terrifying experience that Michael McNamara did.

“I was shooting up in a bathroom in Seattle. At a theater. Everything turned black. There was no white light. There was no friends or family waiting for you. I basically died. I overdosed on heroin.”

Morphine pills.
Eric Norris (CC-BY-2) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Montana’s Board of Medical Examiners is learning more about how doctors treat pain and prescribe pain medicines as they grapple with the state and national crisis surrounding opioid painkiller abuse.

Bob Mason and his dog Sophie.
courtesy

When Bob Mason decided to end his life with a self-inflicted gunshot, his pain helped him pull the trigger.

Mason died in January. He was 67 years old. His daughter, Shane Mieski, says her father had been without pain-killing drugs for about a week when he died.

Kathy Snook, Terri Anderson and Gary Snook waiting in Dr. Forest Tennant’s office in West Covina, California.
Corin Cates-Carney

Over the past two decades, the rate of overdose deaths from prescription painkillers known as opioids has quadrupled in the United States. Federal authorities say 78 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Health care officials in Montana report that the abuse here is worse than the national average. But the casualties of the opioid epidemic are not all addicts and drug abusers.

Hearing room at the Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

  Today state lawmakers heard from chronic pain patients who want to reform Montana’s policy regarding access to pain medications like opioids.

Casey Brock from Glendive and Terri Anderson from Hamilton call the reform ‘The Montana Pain Patients’ Bill of Rights."

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