Community Policing Gains Traction in New Ways

When we think about all the places around the world where the United Nations is advancing human rights, St. Louis might not be as high on that list as other more exotic and foreign locales. But Eleanor Roosevelt’s words seem poignantly applicable to the myriad of small municipalities that comprise our region, and for me, her words are a reminder that the advancement of human rights is as important in Bridgeton as it is in Beijing; that gender equality is as critical in Dellwood as it is in Darfur.  The United States, however, DOES top the international list when we look at opioid abuse and the criminalization of illness.

Nationally, in 2018, the total percentage of drug-related deaths decreased rather substantially, for the first time in years. By 5% actually, which IS a victory and SHOULD be celebrated; unfortunately Missouri was not part of the decreasing trend seen nationally. When we look more closely at our state, we see an alarming increase in the percentage of drug-related deaths. In 2018, Missouri actually had 16.1% MORE drug-related deaths than the year before. To put that in context, only one state had a higher increase than we did; Delaware’s drug-related deaths increased by 16.7%.

Now, I don’t have those numbers broken out by gender, but let’s look at them alongside what we do know about the criminalization of substance abuse for women in Missouri.