I’ve seen quite a few of my friends deal with drug and alcohol addictions in my life. It’s not pretty and I’m glad Greitens finally decided to do something about it. Greitens signed Executive Order 17-18 on July 17th which let’s Missouri start the implementation of a “Prescription Drug Monitoring System” (PDMS). Much needed Greitens, bravo!
So I’ve got to give Greitens credit where credit is due. After hearing a certain state Senator, which happens to belong to Greiten’s own party, state that it would be a good thing for opioid addicts to die so as to “remove them from the gene pool”, I didn’t think any Republicans would help with this problem. The same Republican party that has refused to expand Medicaid in our state which would significantly help with the problem, while also saving our state money. The same Republicans that have been opposed to setting up a PDMS through the legislative process.
So absurd Republicanism aside, I think it’s great that he broke with his party and signed this EO. It should help reign in dubious pharmaceutical practices across the state. It doesn’t seem to check off all the boxes to an effective PDMS, but it does start the process. Legislation would have obviously been better, but this is a good first step. I don’t know how far an EO could go, but there seems to be one major shortcoming when it comes to this EO’s strategy to putting an end to the opioid crises here.
None of the information compiled here is accessible to any of the doctors on the front lines! This means that it will be great at making sure doctors don’t abuse their powers of prescription (well maybe… not much verbiage to that effect in the EO). But it doesn’t do anything to help doctors fight against addicts that go hopping from one doctor to the next.
So really, what’s the point? I don’t think there is much of one. It does help, but it’ll be very minor. No doctor now is going to prescribe obscene amounts of painkillers anymore, but I don’t know how common that was before? Without allowing the people that need the information to actually access the information, it seems like this EO doesn’t have much of a bite to it.
So is this a drug prevention EO or is it a handout to a donor in the form of an EO that pretends to help the state? With over $6M in “dark money” donated to his campaign it’s hard to know (if not impossible). So even though it’s a small step in the right direction, I’ve got to say it looks allot like a toothless EO that’s pretending to be helpful but is really just a handout from a corrupt politician. That’s obviously speculative, but is much more in line with Greitens political background as opposed to going out of his way to enforce more regulations on a private industry to help drug addicts.
Since Republicans are even attacking him for this EO, it’s hard to believe that he did it to appease his party. His party has refused to address the problem because they don’t think the government should do anything to help anyone. Many Democrats are crying foul because of his financial ties to the company that was awarded the no bid contract. Then on top of that allot of professionals say that without the doctors having access to the database it doesn’t actually address the problem.
So yeah, good job Greiteins! You made a step in the right direction. A stupid, small, and corrupt step. But a step nonetheless. Props big guy! Can’t be mad about progress but can’t say that it’s much.
Also published on Medium.