New Antidote Hopes To Save Lives

Opioid overdoses are a grim fact of life for emergency medical responders, emergency medicine physicians, law enforcement, and families throughout Illinois. In some cases, persons who have taken overdoses of opioid substances can be saved by the prompt administration of a specialized antidote drug such as Naloxone. In some cases, these urgent antidotes must be administered to people who have happened upon the drug by chance, or who are not familiar with the danger of these substances. In some cases, young adults and even children are the victims.

The hope of saving young lives pushed Naperville’s Rep. Grant Wehrli into action this spring. Appearing in House committee with DuPage County Coroner Dr. Rich Jorgensen, the sponsor and witnesses urged House members to support HB 438 (click here for bill details). This 2015 measure authorizes schools to administer an opioid antidote should that action be necessary to save a life. On Tuesday, March 10, the House Special Committee on Substance Abuse approved the measure by a vote of 8-0-0.

This Special Committee is also considering other measures to halt the scourge of opiate addiction and opiate overdoses throughout Illinois. House Republican members of the Committee are Spokesperson Michael McAuliffe, Rep. Jeanne Ives, and Rep. Christine Winger.