A drug overdose death "linked to the state's 12-month budget impasse" has been reported in Illinois.
That's according to Community Behavioral Healthcare Association (CBHA) CEO Marvin Lindsey, who wrote a letter Thursday to Gov. Bruce Rauner, informing him of the drug overdose death and urging him to approve human services funding.
As a direct result of the nearly yearlong budget stalemate, Lindsey said community-based mental health and drug treatment providers currently have monthly client waitlists of 12 to 200 individuals, and 76 percent of such providers have had to end programs or reduce services.
"Regarding the waiting list, many of these individuals usually end up in more expensive emergency rooms, hospital inpatient facilities, jails or, even, dead. Yes, dead," he wrote in the letter. "In one instance for example, since the budget impasse began, a parent called a substance use provider to tell the agency that they could remove her son from the waiting list because he had died from an overdose."
CBHA is statewide association of mental health, substance abuse and youth service providers. The state owes CBHA's 65 member providers a total of $85 million.
Lindsey pressed Rauner to sign the human services stopgap budget measure currently on his desk.
"The ongoing budget dispute has financially starved local behavioral healthcare providers," Lindsey said in a news release. "Our agencies and the people that they serve need a lifeline."