Illinois Governor Pritzker signed Executive Order 2020-02 to establish 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 in the state.
"This executive order begins an effort to achieve social equity as we work to end the opioid crisis in Illinois," said Governor JB Pritzker. "We will coordinate innovative, evidence-based approaches in partnership with harm-reduction organizations, establish local systems of care in disproportionately impacted communities, and create a comprehensive statewide opioid plan. I'm equally proud to announce that my administration is increasing our state investment in this fight by over $4 million in this fiscal year. Illinois has made great strides in responding to the opioid crisis that has swept the nation,but our work won't be done until all our residents have the opportunity to live their most fulfilling lives."
The Governor's Office, in conjunction with the state's Opioid Crisis Response Advisory Council, will create an Opioid Social Equity Committee to make policy recommendations regarding how to address social and racial disparities in the opioid crisis response. They will also establish local recovery-oriented systems of care councils in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the crisis in order to reach out to and engage individuals in all stages of recovery.
The Executive Order also focuses on harm reduction strategies that promote safer use of opioids to save lives. The strategies will help reduce both the risks of infectious HIV, HCV and Hepatitis A and fatal overdoses. This 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.
The administration will also invest $550,000 to encourage doctors to prescribe medication assisted treatment (MAT) for individuals with opioid use disorder. Another $2.75 million will be invested in overdose prevention. This includes investments in the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to ensure that first responders and treatment providers can respond in real time when there is a spike in overdoses in a community. This response will include overdose prevention training, local public awareness messages, and the purchase of 50,000 doses of naloxone to put directly in the hands of community residents.
To increase transparency and accessibility of resources, the state will also create a comprehensive online repository that streamlines and makes available all opioid use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery resources.