Tom Cullerton announces additional funding to combat opioid crisis
VILLA PARK- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is excited to announce Illinois was recently awarded a federal grant for over $16 million to fight Illinois' opioid crisis.
This grant comes in light of recent news that heroin and opioid abuse now kills more Americans annually than gun homicides or traffic accidents according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"We can't rest until the opioid crisis is eliminated from our communities," Cullerton said. "Every dollar we receive will help our community providers and organizations give people an opportunity to seek treatment and turn their lives around."
The federal grant supports new treatment and recovery services, including the establishment of an Opioid Crisis Line and expanded medication-assisted treatment for individuals with opioid use disorder. The funding will also support opioid-related enhancements to the Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP), the launch of a statewide opiate awareness campaign, new pilot programs to provide medications to treat opioid use disorder, and pre-release and post-release services for individuals who are incarcerated in county jails.
In addition, the funding will support a widespread expansion of the training of first responders to an opioid overdose and the availability of the overdose reversal medication Naloxone, commonly referred to as Narcan.
In 2016, Cullerton worked to addresses the heroin and opioid abuse and addiction through House Bill 1. The legislation combated to problem in a variety of different ways, by training public safety entities in administering Narcan, requiring state agencies to develop a three-year heroin and opioid drug prevention program and expanding state-funded treatment to include addiction treatment and prescription costs.
"We need to find a comprehensive solution to protect our young people from making fatal decisions," said Cullerton. "Our priority is to put protections in place to save lives."
Despite innovative methods to combat the opioid overdose crisis in DuPage, Illinois continues to experience a notable increase in drug overdose deaths. Cullerton continues to work with DuPage County on finding ways to combat this epidemic.
"Drug overdoses can happen to people regardless of their age, socioeconomic background or ethnicity," Cullerton said. "There is help out there. We need to make sure those suffering from opioid addiction know where to find it."
Through the Illinois Opioid Crisis Response Advisory Council, The Illinois Department of Human Services and many other state agencies are coordinating the state's efforts to develop a statewide opioid epidemic preparedness and prevention strategy.
Cullerton is urging DuPage County residents to give his Villa Park Office a call at (630) 903-6662 with any question regarding where to receive help fighting opioid addiction.