A measure aimed at curbing heroin and opioid abuse is being implemented in Illinois.
The new law, which took effect last September, requires naloxone, the anti-overdose medication, to be in the possession of police and fire departments and emergency medical service providers. It allows trained pharmacists to provide the anti-overdose medication without a prescription.
Among other provisions, the legislation expands Medicaid to include addiction treatment coverage and mandates that private insurance plans cover anti-overdose drugs. The law includes an expansion of drug-court sentencing alternatives for low-level offenses and calls for heroin and opioid data collection from hospitals, medical examiners and coroners.
The law took effect after the House and Senate overrode Gov. Bruce Rauner's amendatory veto of the legislation. The bill initially passed unanimously in the House and by a 46-4 vote in the Senate.
Various components of the legislation are still being implemented. Observers say they are happy so far with the implementation process.
"I think it's going better than expected," Kathie Kane-Willis, director of Roosevelt University's Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy, told the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers.