Sen. Melinda BushMay 30, 2015 - Daily Herald | Original article

By Erin Hegarty

It's now up to Gov. Bruce Rauner to decide whether to sign off on a proposal that supporters say could diminish the suburban heroin abuse epidemic but that would cost the state millions of dollars.

The plan draws from experiences in DuPage County, and in part calls for a wider use of Narcan, a heroin overdose reversal drug. Better use of specialized drug courts that focus on rehabilitation instead of the criminal process when it comes to heroin addicts is another main component of the bill.

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Category: In The News

Lake County News-Sun - May 19, 2015 | Original article

Written by College of Lake County

Recognizing the start of the second major project in a $163 million plan to upgrade facilities, the College of Lake County held a groundbreaking ceremony on May 16 for a new central plant, café and student activities center on the Grayslake campus.

Those speaking at the ceremony included CLC President Jerry Weber; Lake County Board Chair Aaron Lawlor; Eva Guttierez, president of the Student Government Association (SGA);and Jose Figueroa, SGA senator. Others attending included CLC Board Chairman William Griffin, State Senator Melinda Bush (31st Legislative District) and members of the CLC Board of Trustees.

The $24.7 million project consists of creating a new central heating and cooling geothermal plant, renovating the campus core to creative student activity space and adding a new café building. The café will be located west of the Main Lobby overlooking Willow Lake. During this project, an exterior court will be covered and combined with a lecture hall space to create a new student activities office and multi-purpose space.

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Category: In The News

042715 js 0045CL CAROUSELLake County News-Sun - April 28, 2015 | Original story

State Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, has initiated a bill that would allow trained pharmacists to prescribe anti-overdose drugs to family members of those at risk of a fatal overdose from heroin or other opiates.

The legislation is named "Lali's Law" in remembrance of Alex "Lali" Laliberte, who died in December 2008 from an overdose involving heroin and other drugs.

His sister, Buffalo Grove resident Chelsea Laliberte, has become a major advocate and influence in local opiate initiatives, including the program that trained Lake County police departments on the use of naloxone, a drug that counteracts opiate overdoses.

Since Christmas, police in Lake County have been credited with saving 10 lives through the use of the drug.

The Lali's Law legislation was passed unanimously in the Illinois Senate and Bush is now lobbying for it to be passed on its own by the House or to be included in an omnibus bill addressing heroin abuse and prevention.

Bush said the legislation is backed by the Lake County State's Attorney's Office and Lake County government officials.

If it becomes law, Bush said her hope is that family members who might not go to a doctor to talk about a loved one's drug abuse or addiction may obtain naloxone or a similar drug through a pharmacist and potentially save lives, opening the door for the addicts to then "hopefully overcome their drug problems."

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Category: In The News

Sen. Bush joins Lake County activists and professionals to promote Narcan access

Hoy - April 27, 2015 | Original article

By Marina Klauke

(This article originally appeared in Spanish.)

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS - The Illinois Senate approved a proposal Thursday that would permit the sale of Narcan, the antidote that saves the lives of those suffering overdoses of heroin or other opioids such as medication for chronic pain.

Illinois is one step away from the pharmacy sale of the antidote that reverses the effects of an overdose of these types of drug.

Senator Melinda Bush (D-31) was one of the forerunners of this proposal, and on Monday explained that the measure was approved unanimously in the Senate, and that approval in the House would allow the availability of the medicine naloxone, known commercially as Narcan, in pharmacies.

Bush made the announcement in front of the offices of Live4Lali, a group promoting access to the antidote, and that provides help to families of addicts and offers training in the use of Narcan.

As she explained, Narcan is an automatic device, injected subcutaneously in the person suffering overdose, and acts as an antidote that reverses the effects of the attack in order to buy time for the individual to be taken to a hospital for appropriate treatment.

"This proposal would allow anybody to go to a pharmacy, get training to use this medication and obtain a prescription at the pharmacy to have naloxone en their homes in case there's any member of the family, or a friend who might need it," Bush explained.

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Category: In The News

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