Several Bills Being Considered by Illinois’ Governor Deal With Opioid Epidemic

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Several Bills Being Considered by Illinois’ Governor Deal With Opioid Epidemic (Springfield, IL) (via The Center Square) — The opioid crisis in America has resulted in several pieces of legislation to be considered by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

The governor has already signed a bill into law requiring concerts with 1,000 people or more to have opioid-overdose antidotes on hand along with trained staff who can administer the drugs.

Two bills on the governor’s desk deal with opioids and schools. One bill awaiting his signature requires schools to have a supply of an opioid antagonist on hand to treat overdoses. State Sen. Laura Ellman, D-Naperville, crafted legislation that includes the dangers of fentanyl in Illinois school district’s curriculum.

“The efforts to make our communities safer started with the circulation of naloxone and other life saving medications,” Ellman said. “Now we must expand our efforts to education.”

House Bill 3924 seeks to combat this risk by specifically requiring all high school students enrolled in a state-required health course to learn about the dangers of fentanyl and fentanyl contamination.

Another measure would amend the Overdose Prevention and Harm Reduction Act. State Rep. Tony McCombie, R-Savanna, said this would allow pharmacists and retail stores to sell fentanyl test strips over the counter.

“Fentanyl is a deadly drug that is taking far too many lives and as we continue to take steps to address the opioid epidemic affecting Illinois families, our priority with this legislation is to single out fentanyl,” McCombie said during a news conference in March.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, in 2021, there were more than 3,000 opioid overdose deaths in Illinois. Since 2008, nearly 11,000 people have died due to opioid overdoses, many times because fentanyl was an unknown factor.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 150 people die every day nationwide from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

Several Bills Being Considered by Illinois’ Governor Deal With Opioid Epidemic

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