Mississippi public health and law enforcement officials fear the state is on the cusp of an opioid overdose crisis.
That’s because the state ranks fifth in the nation for the number of opioids being prescribed. Last week, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant issued an executive order to create an Opioid and Heroin Study Task Force.
To better understand the crisis, the Daily Journal has run an extensive two-day series examining the issues with opioid abuse and the steps being taken now to combat a potential health care emergency. Reporters Michaela Morris and William Moore (12:13) completed that series, and they join Derek and Brad on today’s episode for an extensive discussion of the topic.
Enough opioid painkillers are prescribed in Mississippi each year that every person in the state could have 70 pills. The state has not yet seen the increase in opioid-related deaths that has plagued other states like Kentucky, West Virginia and Alabama. But with prescription rates so high, officials fear it may only be a matter of time.
Michaela and William talk about the growing problem, as well as options that are available for recovery and rehabilitation.
Also, Daily Journal Capitol Bureau chief Bobby Harrison (48:56) joins us to talk about the future of civil service protection in Mississippi.
Legislative leaders and Gov. Phil Bryant are considering removing the safeguard for state workers. They say doing so would make for a more efficient and less costly state government. Opponents say the civil service system protects employees from political patronage.