A Shot in the Dark: Shedding Light on the Opioid Crisis

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In America, you’re now more likely to die from an accidental opioid overdose than a car crash.

It’s a new statistic just released by the National Safety Council. a Four State ambulance service is trying to find answers while helping those who suffer in the area. Tonight, in our year long series “A Shot in the Dark: Shedding Light on the Opioid Crisis” we take a look at what that this new statistic means in joplin.

“Just looking over our stats for the last year, we ran approximately 80 -90 potential overdoses, as far as what they were specifically, we don’t really know unless there is an indication at the scene,” says Jason Lonie, BC Mets.

The National Safety Council says for the first time in history, a person is more likely to die from an accidental overdose than in a car wreck. 

“We all know that opiates are addictive and some people get hooked on them from having a minor procedure, they go in they start taking them, and it does help with their pain, a lot of people have chronic pain problems and end up getting into an opiate dependency and they have to manage their pain otherwise they have a very low quality life,” says Lonie.

Despite the grim findings from the NSC…Mets, based in Joplin, isn’t seeing any rise in fatal overdoses.

“We’re not seeing a big change in our area as far as car accidents or accidental overdoses, they all seem to be holding steady at their previous levels,” says Lonie.

Another report released says deaths in women aged 30-64 from overdoses has increased 260 percent from 1999 – 2017. A stat that paramedics are thankful isn’t showing in Joplin.

“It’s pretty close, it’s maybe, last year I think we had 43 overdoses in men verses 34 in women,” says Lonie.

As far as nationwide, it’s a big question mark.

“I think it might be shifting availability,” says Jason Lonie.

While first responders would like to see the numbers go down for Joplin, they say the good news is they’re not going up.

“We haven’t seen any, anything out of the ordinary than what we’ve seen in the past, it’s kind of holding at the same level that is has in the past,” says Lonie.

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