Opioid overdose deaths have steadily increased in Missouri. The devastating impact of opioid misuse and overdose places a tremendous burden on our families, communities, and healthcare systems. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is committed to supporting those impacted by the opioid crisis through education, resources, and linkage to treatment. We know that every person saved from an overdose or connected with resources is a mother, father, sibling or child to someone else.

1 out of every 56 deaths in 2018 were due to Opioid  Overdose
1,132 208 opioid deaths

Missouri’s data tell a troubling story: the opioid epidemic affects all genders, all races, and many age groups in both rural and urban Missouri communities. The impact is multi-dimensional and multi-generational. Trends indicate that misuse in our state, and nationwide, continues to affect people across all demographics.

Each clickable image below provides linkages to data demonstrating the Death Toll, Burden to Healthcare, and Impact on the Future, of the opioid epidemic.

The Death Toll
The Burden to Healthcare
The Impact on the Future

DHSS’ efforts to combat this epidemic are expansive. They include:

  • Data tracking related to opioids misuse, to show where efforts are most needed and where progress is being made.
  • Applying for and receiving grants to aid in the fight against the epidemic to support additional data tracking, awareness/outreach methods and connection to care.
  • Expanding access to Narcan, through a standing order signed by then DHSS Director, Dr. Randall Williams, to provide access to the medication free for emergency use in high schools, YMCA organizations, public libraries and colleges/universities.
  • Pharmacists are authorized to dispense Naloxone without a prescription under another statewide standing order issued by DHSS.
  • Naloxone training and distribution through the DHSS MORE program and partnering with the MO HOPE Project.
  • DHSS, with funding from the CDC, is working to finalize county-level vulnerability assessments that will help identify areas of the state that are at the greatest risk for opioid overdoses and bloodborne infections, and findings will be used to allocate resources and target response and prevention services. The full report can be viewed here.
  • Establishing the Community Resource Response Team in St. Louis to reduce overdose deaths and homicides within the boundaries of the City of St. Louis, where overdose death rates are the highest in the state. The mobile command unit travels to sites of overdoses to arrange follow-up services for survivors.

DHSS also continues to work with local partners, and provide county level data to assist those partners in identifying best practices to reach and provide service to those in their communities.

Opioid Dashboard Title

For more information on Missouri’s government-wide approach to the crisis, visit