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Bush’s drug education plan, court reform proposal signed into lawSPRINGFIELD - As part of continuing efforts to address the public health crisis of heroin and opioid painkiller addiction, the governor signed into law a proposal by State Sen. Melinda Bush that would provide more education to those struggling with addiction.

“Last year, the General Assembly worked with activists, law enforcement officials, and public health authorities to bring sweeping reforms to opioid treatment, but we know these efforts must continue,” said Bush, D-Grayslake. “This informational campaign will ensure that those coping with addiction know the risks and the methods for protecting themselves in an emergency.”

Under the new legislation, all Department of Human Services programs serving persons with substance use issues will provide educational information on treatment options for opioid addiction, such as medication, how to recognize and response to an overdose and how to use antidotes like naloxone.

The legislation was House Bill 5593.

The governor also signed a companion proposal into law today contained in House Bill 5594 ensuring defendants in drug court won’t be denied prescription medication.

“This is part of our continued shift toward treating drug addiction like what it is: A devastating health concern that becomes the root cause of other personal and societal ills,” said Bush. “We want to ensure that there is no gap in doctor-prescribed medication for those trying to overcome addiction. We won’t deny someone the treatment they need.”

The new law requires drug courts to allow patients who are receiving medication for opioid addiction to continue taking it as prescribed by a licensed physician, and prevents a court from halting that medication before a doctor says so. Currently, courts may prohibit individuals from participating in such treatment as a condition for successful completion of the drug court program – a practice federal law now prohibits.

Both new laws take effect on Jan. 1, 2017.

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Springfield Office:
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Springfield, IL 62706
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