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Opioid Abuse

  • Bertino-Tarrant: “It’s our duty to equip our emergency professionals with the tools to prevent drug related deaths”

    nalaxone 100417PLAINFIELD- Emergency professionals will now have easier access to the life-saving drug Naloxone to save Will County residents’ lives.

    State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is proud to announce Illinois now has a Standing Order to allow eligible organizations, mostly pharmacies and opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND) programs, to provide naloxone to any person without a direct prescription.

    “The opioid epidemic does not see race, color or socioeconomic status; it is a crisis affecting every community across Illinois,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Naloxone gives us a way to save lives. It’s our duty to equip emergency professionals with the tools to prevent drug related deaths.”

    Naloxone is a non-addictive prescription medication that, if used while someone is having a heroin overdose, can save the person’s life. It is more commonly referred to as Narcan. 

    With Illinois’ standing order, insurers such as Medicaid and Medicare can be billed. Eligible individuals must complete appropriate training on naloxone administration to use the program.

    In 2016, there were a record number of heroin related deaths in Will County, an increase of more than 40 percent from the previous year.  According to the Will County coroner’s office, 77 people died in Will County due to opioid overdoses last year.

    Bertino-Tarrant has been working to end the opioid epidemic in Illinois by expanding educational resources to Will County residents.

    The new law she championed this year requires the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) to create and maintain a website to educate people on the effects of heroin and prescription opioid abuse. The website will include the warning signs of heroin and opioid addiction, helpful tips for parents on how to discuss the dangers of addiction with their children, available treatment options and services, and other related information.

    “We need to provide every possible resource and assistance we can as a state to address the heroin and opioid addiction problems many face throughout Illinois,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Addiction is hurting families in Will County. Educating area residents will help us alleviate and end the opioid overdose epidemic.”

    Bertino-Tarrant urges area residents with questions on how to take advantage of resources to help fight opioid addiction to call her Plainfield office at (815) 254-4211.

  • Bertino-Tarrant: New drug abuse information website will save lives

    jbt 052517SPRINGFIELD— Information regarding heroin and prescription opioid abuse could become more readily available due to legislation that passed the Illinois Senate on Thursday.

    “We need to every possible way to address the heroin and opioid addiction problems our state faces,” State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) said. “Families are being destroyed by addiction and we need to make information and resources more readily available.”

    The legislation, House Bill 3161, would require the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) to create and maintain a website to educate people on heroin and prescription opioid abuse.

    “This new website will allow people to get information and important resources,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

    Under House Bill 3161, the website developed and maintained by DHS would include the warning signs of heroin and opioid addiction, helpful tips for parents on how to discuss the dangers of addiction with their children, available treatment options and services and other related information.

    Will County saw a record number of heroin related-deaths in 2016, an increase of more than 40 percent from the previous year. According to the Will County coroner’s office, 77 people died in Will County due to opioid overdoses in 2016.

    Bertino-Tarrant has actively tried to combat addiction-related problems in her district. She served as the co-chairwoman of the Young Adults Heroin Use Task Force and hosted heroin prevention forums in her district.

  • Bush measure to reduce opioid abuse, prevent doctor shopping passes legislature

    bush 110917SPRINGFIELD – A measure from Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) to reduce opioid abuse and “doctor shopping” advanced out of both legislative chambers with unanimous support.

    Senate Bill 772 would require prescribers of controlled substances to check the Prescription Monitoring Program database to see if a patient has been prescribed a controlled substance by another doctor prior to writing an initial prescription. This would make it harder for individuals to obtain prescriptions from multiple doctors, a practice known as doctor shopping.

    “Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States,” Bush said. “The prescription monitoring program can help curb opioid addiction and overdose by reducing the problem of overprescribing, but it will only be successful if prescribers actually check the database before writing a script.” 

    In 2015, Bush sponsored the legislation that required pharmacies to file daily reports of all controlled substances they dispense. Under the current law, however, prescribers of controlled substances are not required to check the Prescription Monitoring Program database before writing prescriptions. Studies show that as few as 14 percent of physicians always check the database before prescribing controlled substances.

    “Checking the prescription monitoring program database before writing a prescription is easy for doctors and an essential step in combatting the opioid epidemic in Illinois,” Bush said. “This measure will help curb doctor shopping, prevent overdoses and save countless lives.”

  • Bush moves to reduce opioid abuse, prevent doctor shopping

    bush 052517SPRINGFIELD – Legislation to curb opioid abuse and “doctor shopping” advanced out of the Illinois Senate today with unanimous support.

    Senate Bill 1607, sponsored by Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake), would require prescribers of controlled substances to check the Prescription Monitoring Program database to see if a patient has been prescribed a controlled substance by another doctor prior to writing a script. This would make it harder for individuals to obtain prescriptions from multiple doctors, a practice known as doctor shopping.

  • Harmon to introduce measure providing alternative to opioids

    harmon 031517SPRINGFIELD – Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) plans to introduce a measure aimed at tackling the opioid crisis by providing medical alternatives to prescription painkillers.

    The Alternatives to Opioids Act would allow people who have been prescribed opioids for a medical condition to apply for a temporary medical cannabis card instead. Harmon plans to introduce the legislation during the second week of the Illinois Senate’s veto session.