Missouri receives millions of federal dollars to help opioid addicts

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KSPR) -- The federal government is stepping in to help fight the opioid drug crisis in the state.

A huge grant has been allocated for Missouri. The question now is where that money goes.

"It took a while," said Eric Moffitt of the Springfield Recovery Community Center. "My recovery came through the desire to stop dealing with consequences."

Moffitt once lived as an addict.

"I have a long history with alcohol and substance abuse, mental health issues, violence, criminal behavior, committing crimes," said Moffitt.

He has recovered from those battles and now works to help others fighting the same. He is the community outreach coordinator for the Springfield Recovery Community Center.

"Proper motivation, proper outlook and more involvement in positive things will result if you work at it hard, in a better life," said Moffitt. "A more useful and more content life, a happier place. Only about 10 percent of addicts are getting treatment right now."

Dr. Robert Elworth with the Centers for Addiction at Cox North Hospitla in Springfield says one of his patients is still fighting the battle of opioid addiction.

"Terrible disease to get passed," said Elworth. "She knows, if she doesn't quit, she's going to die within the next year. But she's not ready to quit. She's still injecting heroin within the last week."

Moffitt says this federal grant to help fight the problem in Missouri -- will help. He says it's a slow process to overcome addiction, but it's a process that needs to be taken for everyone hooked on opioids.

"There's no future in it," said Dr. Elorth. "We have a better device on the market now, a better model on the market now. We all live better lives but we have to want to live a better life. We have to want those rewards of living up to our potential. We have to challenge ourselves, and I've never found anything more rewarding yet in my life than challenging myself to be useful to the people around me."