Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced last Thursday that the state has received $36.7 million in federal funding to fight the opioid crisis. Funding expands prevention, treatment, recovery and overdose response initiatives across the state.
“Substance use disorder is a disease – and we must do all that we can to ensure the road to recovery is widely available and accessible,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “This funding will build on the work of the Department of Human Services and the Department of Public Health in our effort to end the opioid epidemic in Illinois. Nobody is a lost cause, and Illinois won’t stop fighting until all of our residents have the opportunity to live their most fulfilling lives.”
“This wave of funding is immensely helpful for a population that continues facing challenges, especially during COVID-19. We have really strengthened our public health approach around the opioid crisis. This funding helps with outreach and increases access to services. This has made a huge difference with the stigma around substance use which is a real health issue we are addressing,” said IDHS Secretary Grace Hou.
The State Opioid Response (SOR) federal grant is awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The opioid crisis, amplified by the devastation of COVID-19, affects the residents of the state of Illinois in profound ways. These federal dollars will help the state address the opioid crisis during COVID-19. The programs funded by this award will bring critical services to help persons with opioid use disorder, assist those on a path to recovery, provide emergency lifesaving medication for people experiencing an opioid overdose and deliver a prevention and support message across the state.
Funds will be used to continue the following initiatives:
• expanded access to Medication Assisted Recovery (MAR) services for persons with opioid use disorders, including those in the criminal justice system;
• hospital screenings and linkage to community treatment programs for their patients; supportive housing and digital resources for persons in recovery from opioid use disorder;
• access to medication-assisted recovery for patients at federally qualified health centers;
• recovery support services for pregnant and postpartum women with opioid use disorders; mentoring and coaching for medical professionals prescribing medications for opioid use disorder; and a toll-free Helpline for opioids and other substances.
• expansion this year for treatment of persons with stimulant use disorder, in response to rising rates of methamphetamine and cocaine use
If you or someone you know is experiencing problems with substance use disorder, call the state’s Helpline for Opioids and other Substances at 1-833-2FINDHELP (1-833-234-6343) Text “HELP” to 833234 or visit HelplineIL.org.