MURPHYSBORO, IL (KFVS) - Illinois is receiving a $16 million federal grant to fight opioid abuse. Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration announced the grant Friday.
The Illinois Department of Human Services will administer money to fight an epidemic that claimed 2,000 lives in Illinois last year.
It's the second consecutive year Illinois has received funding from the 21st Century Cures Act. Officials say the grant will provide new treatment and recovery services and expand medication-assisted treatment for those with the opioid-use disorder.
It will boost the Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program and enhance programs to assist people released from county jails.
The grant will also provide continued training for first responders who often save lives by treating overdose victims quickly. Human Services funds have trained nearly 18,000 people in using a drug which reverses overdose effects.
Dr. Jeff Ripperda of Murphysboro, Ill. said he's treated over 300-patients since receiving his license 7-years ago to prescribe addiction helping drugs.
He said the opioid crisis largely affects people aged from 15-40-years-old and the death rate rivals that of car crashes on a national scale.
"Almost every geographic area of the state doesn't have enough resources to meet the demand for treatment for those who are already addicted to opiates," said Dr. Ripperda. "We have a waitlist and it takes a long time to get in to see a doctor like me who can prescribe the medication that will tend to help and there just isn't enough of us to go around."