National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse | St. Louis Public Radio

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse

Ed Ferguson, Karin Caito and Howard Weissman discusses the opioid crisis on "St. Louis on the Air" on Wednesday.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The past year, 2016, will set a record for the number of drug overdose deaths in the St. Louis region. While still collecting data, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse – St. Louis Area is expecting a total of 630-640 deaths from overdoses in the past year, most of them opioid related and most impacting younger St. Louisans.

St. Louis County Officer David Meyer tests pushing the Narcan nasal syringe hard enough to create mist instead of dribbling out.
File Photo | Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis-based agencies coordinating Missouri’s federal grant to prevent opioid overdose deaths are training their first batch of first responders Monday afternoon.

Officers and EMTs from the Warrenton and Wright City fire protection districts and the Eureka, St. Charles City, Marthasville and Columbia police departments will be taught how to administer the overdose antidote, naloxone, before collecting a supply of the life-saving drug to bring back to their jurisdictions.

NCADA

The attention-grabbing, anti-heroin Super Bowl advertisements that the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse – St. Louis ran last year and will again this year star characters that you may not expect: white, suburban kids. 

Actor's portrayal of a teenage girl undergoing the stress of heroin
NCADA-St. Louis | provided

If you’re watching the Super Bowl in St. Louis this Sunday, you’ll probably see another anti-heroin ad. The St. Louis chapter of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse has purchased local ad space during the big game for the second year in a row.

Compared to last year’s upbeat ukulele music, the music for this year’s Super Bowl ad is a bit less jarring. But the tale it tells is just as stark: a teenage cheerleader tries prescription painkillers at a party and loses everything she cares about as heroin takes over her life.

e-MagineArt.com | Flickr

Updated November 27, 2016 with a more complete count — A final 2015 count from the city of St. Louis bumped the number of opioid overdose deaths to 516 for the St. Louis region, according to Brandon Costerison with the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.

The preliminary count put the number at 324. Costerison said he's still waiting for the final count from the Warren County coroner.

Michael Velardo | Flickr

There’s a new collaborative effort underway to slow down the St. Louis region’s heroin epidemic.

Spearheaded by the St. Louis chapter of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, the plan focuses on using innovative ways to increase awareness about the problem while partnering with legislators, law enforcement and doctors to save lives and reduce access to opiates—both heroin and prescription painkillers.

WBEZ/Luis Perea

St. Louis has a heroin problem. And the problem is growing, especially among suburban youth.

As previously reported by St. Louis Public Radio, the number of deaths in Missouri caused by heroin has doubled in recent years, with 90 percent of those deaths occurring in St. Louis.

Two St. Louis organizations dedicated to combating alcoholism have teamed up to bring a play about Alcoholics Anonymous to the city.

"Pass It On: An Evening with Bill W. and Dr. Bob" is set in a 1948 meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous as the organization's two founders share their stories of recovery. The play will be performed on the campus of Logan University on Saturday, October 5, with proceeds benefiting NCADA St. Louis and Harris House.

When anonymity is one of the major tenets of the best known addiction recovery organization, it seems incongruous that Greg Williams, a person in long-term recovery from drug abuse, is urging others like him to publicly disclose their status.  He believes that is the answer to counter the stigma that is still prevalent toward addiction and treatment for it.  He is so certain that he is right that he has devoted months of his life to “The Anonymous People,” a film documenting the many “game changers” as he calls them, people who are willing to be open about their success with recovery.