SPRINGFIELD – As the General Assembly is set to convene in Springfield this week, state Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Alton, and state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, have introduced House Resolution 58 to address the growing opioid epidemic in the state of Illinois.

“Every day I hear from constituents in my district from all backgrounds how the opioid epidemic has affected them or their families and loved ones, and it is one of my priorities to address this spreading epidemic,” said Bristow. “In 2018 alone, Madison County suffered 109 drug and opioid related overdoses, the highest it has ever seen. I have sponsored various pieces of legislation, hosted round table discussions and panels about this problem and will keep working with law enforcement officials, healthcare agencies, and legislators on both sides of the aisle in order to find a solution to this ever-increasing problem.”

House Resolution 58 encourages the Illinois Department of Public Health to adopt new guidelines around the distribution of painkillers to help stop the opioid crisis. Both Bristow and Stuart have introduced legislation to help combat the opioid epidemic, such as further guidelines and restrictions on opioids and related substances, and creating stronger protections for law enforcement and first responders who may come into accidental contact with synthetic opioids, like fentanyl.

“We have so much information about how prescription opioids are the first step that lead some people to rely on harder drugs and resort to street heroin or fentanyl, and we need to ensure that these medications are prescribed appropriately, and not over-prescribed to patients,” said Stuart. “There is a legitimate need for some of these drugs, but we need to make sure they are given responsibly. I look forward to working with the Illinois Department of Public Health and my colleagues in the House and Senate to combat this epidemic and make sure our residents stay safe.”

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