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State commits to fighting opioid crisis and reduce racial disparities

1/29/2020, 8:50 p.m.
State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is applauding the state's commitment to better address racial disparities in responding to the opioid ...

State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is applauding the state's commitment to better address racial disparities in responding to the opioid crisis by establishing the Governor's Opioid Overdose Prevention and Recovery Steering Committee.

Illinois is also dedicating $4.1 million state dollars to expand recovery and prevention services for individuals with opioid use disorder.

"I applaud Gov. JB Pritzker's efforts to help end the opioid crisis that has plagued communities throughout Illinois," Bertino-Tarrant said. "The $4.1 million investment will help increase the state's investments in communities that need them the most and help create a comprehensive plan to fight the opioid crisis."

Pritzker's executive order also focuses on harm reduction strategies that promote safer use of opioids to save lives. These strategies will help reduce both the risks of infectious HIV, HCV and Hepatitis A and fatal overdoses. The plan includes supervised consumption sites, where individuals with opioid use disorder are under the supervision of trained staff with the goal of ensuring the safety of both the individual and the general public.

"Opioid addiction isn't dependent on age, socioeconomic standing or race; it does not discriminate," Bertino-Tarrant said. "If we're to fight this national epidemic, we need to treat every life as precious."

The Governor's office, along with the state's Opioid Crisis Response Advisory Council, will create an Opioid Social Equity Committee to make legislative recommendations on how to address social and racial disparities in the opioid crisis. The group will also create local recovery-oriented systems of care councils in communities that have been disproportionately harmed by the crisis in order to engage individuals in all stages of recovery.

To ensure accountability of available resources, the state will also create an online listing all opioid use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery resources.