St. Louis County Executive Sam Page has signed legislation that creates a system for health care providers and first responders to report non-fatal overdoses to the St. Louis County Department of Health.
Billed the first of its kind in Missouri, the St. Louis County Overdose Reporting Act uses a system that will provide the county with non-fatal overdose data including information for public health monitoring, reporting and case follow-up, according to a press release.
Previously, only fatal overdoses were reported to officials, and survivors were excluded from clinical studies. Page said the non-fatal overdose data is necessary to understand the complete picture of the opioid epidemic in Missouri.
"The opioid epidemic continues to destroy lives and ravage our community," he said. "Required reporting of non-fatal overdoses will help us improve treatment and save lives. Thank you to our region's health system partners for collaborating with my administration on this important initiative."
The mandatory reporting system will be implemented in January and categories of reporters will be phased in beginning with health systems, officials said. The department of health is expected to release a reporting guide for users.