Senate Democrats back state overdose plan, celebrate new behavioral health chief

CHICAGO – To combat the opioid epidemic, members of the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus support the 2022 State of Illinois Overdose Action Plan, a comprehensive and action-oriented plan. equity to change how Illinois deals with overdoses.

This plan prioritizes outreach and engagement with those at risk of fatal and non-fatal overdose from drugs such as synthetic opioids, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and other substances.

“Illinois has fought more than one pandemic. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, opioid overdoses and opioid-related deaths have increased dramatically,” said State Sen. Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago). “I’m glad we have a plan to deal with this crisis at the state level. As the leader of Southside’s Heroin and Opioid Task Force, I am dedicated to increasing access to better treatment and prevention options for those struggling with addiction.

As reported last November, the United States has seen more than 100,000 overdose deaths over a 12-month period. In Illinois, the number of opioid overdose deaths in 2020 increased 33% from 2019. Communities of color, including the West Side of Chicago, experienced some of the highest overdose death rates. state bred.

“Opioid overdoses are a major problem in our state, so much so that I hosted a hearing to learn more about the root causes and treatment options last year,” the state senator said. Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago). “I’m glad the state is putting a plan in place to continue efforts to address this issue that affects so many communities.”

The launch of the state’s overdose plan follows the Governor’s announcement of David T. Jones as the new behavioral health officer.

“The enlistment of a behavioral health officer into the governor’s office is visionary and timely,” said State Sen. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago). “The pandemic has amplified the need for better coordination between our sister agencies to achieve better results. I look forward to working together to move Illinois forward in this very critical space.”

Jones, who currently serves as director of the substance use prevention and recovery division within the Illinois Department of Human Services, will coordinate with relevant state agencies to develop recommendations for the infrastructure of ideal state for behavioral health. His appointment will be effective April 1.

Illinois’ most recent investments in mental and behavioral health support services total more than $2.2 billion, including $388.8 million in the Division of Substance Abuse Prevention and Recovery and $112 million for specialized mental health rehabilitation facilities.

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