PEORIA, Unwell. (WMBD) – In 2020, Illinois reported almost 3,000 opioid overdose deaths, many attributed to fentanyl. In response to the disaster, Illinois Senate Democrats have launched two new payments.
Since 2013, the Illinois Division of Public Well being stories overdose deaths brought on by artificial opioids, like fentanyl, have elevated by 2,736%.
“Regardless of all of the conversations we’ve been having about it, it’s nonetheless a rising disaster,” mentioned State Senator Laura Ellman, (D-Naperville).
Chris Schaffner, program director at JOLT Harm Reduction in Peoria, mentioned it’s additionally an issue seen domestically.
“By means of our testing practices we proceed to see fentanyl in non-opioid primarily based medication, like cocaine, methamphetamine, and even pressed into some drugs that have been bought as Xanax,” Schaffner mentioned.
A bunch of Illinois lawmakers lately launched a sequence of payments to assist fight the fentanyl overdose disaster.
Home Invoice 17 would improve sentencing by three years for people who manufacture and ship fentanyl-laced merchandise. It will additionally permit an individual to hunt medical remedy for an overdose, with out being prosecuted for small quantities of the drug.
“We have already got a few of the instruments that we want with a view to save lives, that is an replace to these instruments,” Ellman mentioned.
Home Invoice 4556 would make fentanyl testing strips extra accessible, with out persecution for possessing drug testing provides.
“Notably from well being care professionals like pharmacists, that they’re in a position to make use of and have the ability to give out to prospects so we don’t have any pointless fentanyl overdoses,” mentioned State Senator Robert Peters, (D-Chicago).
Schaffner mentioned whereas legal guidelines exist already in Illinois which give protections and promote security, new laws solely helps. He mentioned overdose deaths harm total communities.
“What we’re speaking about are misplaced kids, misplaced and cherished spouses,” Schaffner mentioned. “Individuals who have buddies and neighbors, individuals who serve and work to make the group’s higher, and that’s an enormous loss,” he mentioned.
The 2 payments are anticipated to be heard by state lawmakers over the approaching weeks.
Schaffner mentioned JOLT Hurt Discount can present sources akin to Narcan and Fentanyl testing strips.