Four area counties to receive grant to help fight opioid epidemic

SPRINGFIELD — Fayette, Jefferson, Marion, and Washington counties join 14 other south-central Illinois counties in receiving a public health grant to help fight the ongoing opioid epidemic.

IDPH will receive more than $2 million in federal funding under the grant over the next four years.

The opioid overdose death rate in the 18 poorly-resourced and high-need rural counties has increased more than 50 percent in the past two years, outpacing the 30 percent average increase in all rural Illinois counties over the same period of time.

The grant will help equip every police and sheriff department squad car in the 18 counties with naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

The grant will also fund training on overdose prevention and naloxone use to law enforcement officer in the targeted area.

Efforts will also include establishing robust follow-up, referral, and care coordination for individuals who have overdosed, and increasing public awareness about naloxone and Illinois’

“Good Samaritan laws will empower friends and family of an overdose victim to administer naloxone and allow individuals to seek emergency help for overdoses without risking criminal liability for possession.

IDPH will work with the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System, Illinois Department of Human Services – Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, Heartland Human Services, Bethany Place, and the Illinois Broadcasters Association.