The City of Joplin and Jasper County have signed on to a new prescription drug monitoring program. The Joplin City Council voted Monday (9/18) and the Jasper County Commission voted Tuesday (9/19) to join the effort to fight opioid addiction.

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens created the statewide program in July through an executive order.

Jasper County Sheriff Randee Kaiser tells News Talk KZRG the monitoring program will benefit law enforcement and doctors.

“Doctors can benefit from this because they’ll have a tool now at their disposal to find those people who are doctor-shopping, who are trying to abuse prescription medications.  So I think this is a positive thing to try and stem that tide,” he said.

Concerns over private information being shared have kept drug monitoring laws from being passed in Missouri. But Kaiser says privacy isn’t an issue here.

“I would just encourage those folks to bear in mind that obviously the doctors and pharmacies have much of that information already. The information is very closely guarded and it’s also purged after a short period of time.”

More than 40 other Missouri counties and jurisdictions are participating in the drug monitoring program. Kaiser says the program should take effect in Jasper County sometime in December.

KZRG 102.9