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Bush: Expanded access to overdose reversal drug will save lives

NalaxoneSPRINGFIELD – Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) issued the following statement in response to the release of the Illinois Naloxone Standing Order:

“Naloxone, or Narcan, is a lifesaving drug that is able to reverse the effects of opioid overdoses, which have been occurring at an alarming rate in Illinois,” Bush said. “In 2015, I championed legislation to make Narcan more accessible and affordable for law enforcement agencies. Since taking effect, Narcan has been used by officers to save lives of Illinoisans across the state. I am pleased that the governor issued an order that will make it even easier for first responders and law enforcement officers to administer Narcan and save lives.”

Under current law, a prescription is needed to dispense naloxone. The Standing Order issued yesterday acts as a prescription and allows pharmacists, pharmacies and opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution programs like law enforcement agencies, health departments and community-based organizations to acquire and distribute naloxone.

Over the past few decades, opioid addiction has become a major problem throughout the state of Illinois. As of last year, Illinoisans were dying of heroin overdoses at twice the rate they were in 1999. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2014 to 2015 the opioid-related death rate in Illinois increased 120 percent.

Sen. Melinda Bush

bush 150

31st Senate District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Associated Representatives: Sheri Jesiel; Sam Yingling

Committee assignments: Education; Environment and Conservation; Government Reform (Chairperson); Human Services; Licensed Activities and Pensions; Local Government; Revenue.

Biography: Born March 18, 1956; former member of the Lake County Board, Forest Preserve Board and former Grayslake village trustee; married (Andy) with one adult son (Chris).