ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed an executive order on Wednesday, Sept. 6 that created the governor's Opioid Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force.
It's called Executive Order 17-05 and it will be co-chaired by Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti and Dr. Nirav D. Shah the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. The task force is designed to look at prevention strategies that will decrease expansion of the opioid epidemic.
This includes treatment, recovery promotion and reducing the number of opioid overdose deaths.
The number of heroin overdose deaths in IL has doubled since 2013 and opioid related deaths have quadrupled. The estimated number of people to die of opioid overdose in 2017 is 1,900. That is more than one-and-a-half times the number of homicides and almost twice the number of crashes. Overdose deaths involving opioids increased 76 percent, and overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids (such as fentanyl) increased 258 percent.
"The opioid epidemic knows no neighborhood, no color, and no class. It is not confined to alleys in urban settings, nor isolated in rural communities," Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti said. "Illinois needs a comprehensive opioid strategy that de-stigmatizes addiction and appropriately aligns resources across state agencies in partnership with community priorities."
Increasing the number of providers that use the Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program will be one focus for the task force. This will aid in reducing high-risk opioid prescribing; making information and resources more accessible to the public; strengthening data collection, analysis, and sharing. They will also look into reducing the number of overdose deaths of individuals recently released from an institutional facility; and increase naloxone availability and training.
Members of the Task Force will include officials from the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, Illinois State Police, and from Illinois Departments of: Financial and Professional Regulation, Human Services, Public Health, Juvenile Justice, Insurance, Corrections, and Healthcare and Family Services.