July 9, 2021 – “It was working. It was working great, I was able to go to work every day and not be sick. I was able to be productive, like, you know I had hope,” said another client named Jason.

It’s unclear who forced the clinic to close or why. Jason said that employees told clients that the D.E.A. forced the medical facility to close. News 4 reached out to the St. Louis office of the D.E.A. and a spokesperson said it wasn’t their agency. News 4 also reached out to the Missouri Department of Mental Health but hasn’t heard back.

Rural American has been hit hardest by the opioid epidemic but has limited medical facilities and treatment programs. The next closest medicine-based treatment programs are in St. Louis and Cape Girardeau. Many clients say they don’t have the time or money to drive that far and back every day to get treatment. Washington University psychiatrist, Dr. Laura Bierut, who specializes in addiction at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, said she was very concerned about how the treatment for the clients was abruptly halted when the clinic closed.