New opioid laws designed to address growing crisis

bush 042518SPRINGFIELD – Three proposals passed by State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) aimed at addressing Illinois’ growing opioid crisis were signed into law this week.

The first, House Bill 4707, will create a Prescription Drug Task Force to study the extent of over-prescription of opioids to patients.

"Opioid overdoses are a massive epidemic in Illinois, and over the past few years the situation has only continued to worsen," Bush said. “The opioid epidemic is a serious and complicated issue, but I remain hopeful that the task force can uncover effective, long-lasting solutions to this crisis.”

The task force will consist of state lawmakers, health care professionals, members of law enforcement and parents who have lost children from drug overdoses. In addition to studying the over-prescribing of opioids, the task force will make recommendations to the General Assembly on actions that can be taken at the state level.

Bush’s second proposal, Senate Bill 3023, allows law enforcement agencies to develop and implement deflection programs that offer alternatives to jail for individuals suffering with substance abuse. In Lake County, an already established diversion program helps an average of 12 individuals per month.

The third proposal, Senate Bill 2951, creates a pilot program to treat youth and young adults with substance use disorders.

With opiate abuse continuing to take lives across Lake County, Bush has made combatting the crisis a top priority in Springfield. She is a member of the Lake County Opioid Initiative that was formed in response to the crisis and is working with local stakeholders to develop a comprehensive opioid prevention strategy for the county.

“We know the factors surrounding opioid abuse are multilayered and complex,” Bush said. “And that is why there is not one magic solution to end this epidemic.”

All three new laws take effect immediately.

Sen. Melinda Bush

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31st Senate District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations II; Education; Environment and Conservation (Chairperson); Government Accountability/Pensions; Revenue; Transportation; Subcommittee on Capital (AP); Sub. on Tax Exemptions and Credits; Sub. on Interscholastic Athletics; Opioid Crisis Abatement Spec. Com..

Biography: Born March 18, 1956; former member of the Lake County Board, Forest Preserve Board and former Grayslake village trustee; married (Andy) with one adult son (Chris).

Associated Representatives:
Joyce Mason
Sam Yingling