bush 042921SPRINGFIELD – People who are prescribed opioid drugs would also be given opioid overdose reversal medication under a measure spearheaded by State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake).

“Opioid overdoses have been occurring at alarming rates in Illinois,” Bush said. “Expanded access to overdose reversal drugs – like naloxone – will save lives.”

The measure requires a prescriber to offer a co-prescription for naloxone hydrochloride – or a similar drug – to patients given an opioid drug. Naloxone is a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose.


More than 2,000 people in Illinois lost their lives to opioids in 2019 alone, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Furthermore, Cook County has recently seen more than double the number of overdose deaths – potentially caused by isolation and lack of support during the pandemic.


Since first entering the General Assembly, Bush has been a steadfast advocate on fighting the ongoing opioid crisis. In 2015, she championed legislation to make naloxone more accessible and affordable to law enforcement agencies. Senate Bill 2535 is another step toward saving lives from the deadly effects of opioids.

“The opioid epidemic is a serious and complicated issue that only continues to get worse,” Bush said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed vulnerable populations – such as those with opioid use disorders – and we must tackle this crisis head on.”

Bush’s proposal awaits consideration before the full Senate.