SPRINGFIELD — Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) sponsored legislation in the Senate that will make Illinois the first state in the nation to launch a pilot program to provide locking devices on prescription vials for painkillers containing hydrocodone, also known as Vicodin or Norco.
Today, her proposal was signed into law.
“Too many Illinoisans become addicted to these powerful medications,” Martinez said. “This legislation will help prevent individuals who haven’t obtained a written prescription from using hydrocodone, a dangerous drug when used without a doctor’s supervision.”
Physicians often prescribe painkillers such as hydrocodone for short- and long-term pain.
Under Martinez’s plan, participating pharmacies in Illinois will place numerical locking devices on pharmacy prescriptions with hydrocodone.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, drug overdose death rates in the United States have more than tripled since 1990. Prescription painkillers cause nearly three out of four prescription drug overdoses.
In Chicago, hydrocodone is the most available prescription painkiller to non-prescribed users.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation will be charged with implementing the new program.
SPRINGFIELD- Today, the Illinois House of Representatives voted 105-5 to override the governor’s amendatory veto of House Bill 1, a proposal that takes a multi-faceted approach to curbing the growing heroin epidemic. State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge), the sponsor of the measure in the Senate, released the follow statement following the House’s vote.
“I applaud Representative Lou Lang for his continued leadership and the Illinois House for coming together in a bipartisan fashion that will save lives and taxpayer dollars. Investing in heroin addiction prevention gives people struggling with substance abuse the opportunity to survive and become productive members of our society.
“We owe it to the victims, families and youth of our communities to enact these protections as soon as possible, and I look forward to voting on this proposal in the Senate next week.”