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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.

Sen. Bertino-Tarrant

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49th Senate District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Associated Representatives: Mark Batinick; Natalie A. Manley

Committee assignments: Appropriations II; Education (Chairperson); Labor; Licensed Activities and Pensions; Transportation.

Biography: Lifelong educator; former Will County superintendent and secretary of Will County Regional Board of School Trustees; B.A., Illinois State University; MS, University of St. Francis; EdD., Loyola.