GRAYSLAKE – As a steadfast advocate for addressing the state’s growing opioid crisis and creator of the Prescription Drug Task Force, State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) is pleased to learn the state has been given $36 million to continue to fight the epidemic.

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“The opioid epidemic is a serious and complicated issue that only continues to get worse,” Bush said. “These funds are a great step toward fighting the crisis, but there’s so much more work that needs to be done."

Illinois received $36.7 million in federal funding to fight the opioid crisis – specifically because of issues arising in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The money will expand prevention, treatment, recovery and overdose response initiatives across the state.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed vulnerable populations – especially those with opioid use disorders,” Bush said.

The programs receiving funding will bring critical services to help people with opioid use disorder, assist those on a path to recovery, provide emergency lifesaving medication for people experiencing an opioid overdose, and deliver a prevention and support message across the state.

Bush has worked to address Illinois’ growing opioid crisis since first entering the General Assembly. Most notably, she passed a package of proposals in 2018 that, among other things, created a pilot program to treat youth and young adults with substance use disorders and allowed law enforcement agencies to develop and implement deflection programs that offer alternatives to jail for individuals suffering with substance abuse.

Ahead of the upcoming legislative session, Bush is meeting with advocacy organizations and other legislators to look at potential measures to combat the opioid crisis.

People who are experiencing problems with substance use disorder, should call the state’s Helpline for Opioids and other Substances at 1-833-2FINDHELP – 1-833-234-6343, text “HELP” to 833234, or visit HelplineIL.org.

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