The opioid epidemic claimed the lives of 1,889 people in Illinois last year, but the state has a new action plan and a task force to try to address the interwoven issues of addiction.
Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti and Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, discussed the new plan Wednesday in Addison as they toured Serenity House Counseling Services, which offers a 90-day residential treatment program for opioid users to help them begin a life of recovery.
Their visit came after Gov. Bruce Rauner last week appointed Sanguinetti and Shah as leaders of the new Opioid Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force. The group aims to reduce overdose-related deaths by a third within three years.
"We've come here today to talk about our opioid intervention plan, as well as our task force so that we could start attacking this epidemic on a statewide level," Sanguinetti said, "rather than working in silos, which have not proven effective over the years."