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Bush fights for better drug treatment

bush 050516SPRINGFIELD — To ensure individuals who are recovering from drug addiction can continue to take the most effective medical treatments available, State Sen. Melinda Bush advanced a proposal that would ensure defendants in drug court still receive prescription medication.

“We need to shift our efforts toward treating drug addiction like what it is: A devastating health concern that becomes the root cause of other personal and societal ills,” said Bush, D-Grayslake. “By ensuring that people going through drug court have access to these proven treatments, we’re fighting to cure an illness, not penalize it.”

The legislation, sponsored by Bush in the Senate, would require drug courts to allow patients who are receiving medication for opioid addiction to continue taking it as prescribed by a licensed physician, and prevents a court from halting that medication before a doctor says so. Currently, courts may prohibit individuals from participating in such treatment as a condition for successful completion of the drug court program – a practice federal law now prohibits.

The legislation is House Bill 5594, sponsored by Bush in the Illinois Senate. Having passed a Senate committee Wednesday, it proceeds to the full Senate for consideration.

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