Illinois receives additional $15 million to fight opioid epidemic

CHICAGO (WREX) — Illinois will receive an additional $15 million to fight the opioid epidemic in the state.

The Illinois Department of Human Services made the announcement Thursday, saying the money will come from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

“With the additional funding, we’ll continue to work to ensure that all communities throughout the state have access to treatment for opioid use disorder,” said IDHS Secretary Designate Grace B Hou. “Through the expansion of medication-assisted treatment, increased number of recovery homes, additional substance use treatment at local jails and hospitals and the continuation of community outreach, Illinoisans will have more access to treatment than ever before.”

The new funding aims to strengthen and enhance the Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program to continue the state’s efforts to prevent the misuse of prescription opioids and continue to support the availability of naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal drug.

As of March 2019, over 12,000 individuals with opioid use disorder have been served in Illinois through the federal Opioid Crisis Response Grants, which does not include individuals served through federal block grant funds, state funds or Medicaid dollars.

Since the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances launched in December 2017, there have been over 11,000 calls and 21,000 website visits made to the Helpline. IDHS continues to expand prevention and outreach efforts and treatment and recovery services so all Illinoisans have access to these resources.

Public health officials said Illinois is on track to receive $29 million more in 2020.

Breane Lyga

Breane Lyga

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