Advocates push for abuse-deterrent painkillers

By Mary Hansen
Updated 4/26/2016 6:36 PM

Anti-heroin advocates Tuesday pushed for legislation that would require Illinois insurance companies to cover prescription opioids that they say deter abuse by being difficult to crush or dissolve.

Kevin Kaminski of Ingleside said at a news conference he was recovering from a heroin addiction when he began abusing prescription painkillers. He said at first he crushed and snorted the pills but later began injecting them.


"This just fueled my overall addiction, and (I went) right back to using heroin," he said. "This is a vicious and deadly habit. That's why I'm encouraged that there is a technology to help to prevent prescription drug abuse before it starts."

But the proposal faces an uncertain future. A similar plan stalled in early 2015 with opposition from insurance companies that argued that the measure would increase the cost of these prescriptions but not curb abuse. The measure wasn't included in a large anti-heroin proposal that was eventually approved last year.

Kaminski says he has been clean for three years and is now studying to become an addiction counselor.

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