VILLA PARK, IL – The DuPage Narcan Project recently announced that 86 lives have been saved in DuPage County by the heroin overdose drug naloxone since the beginning of the year. Tom Cullerton spoke on the importance of improving naloxone access. Cullerton sponsored the bipartisan Heroin Crisis Act (HB 1), which expands access to naloxone and overdose-response training programs.

“As the Narcan Project numbers show, naloxone is critical in overdose emergencies to save lives. The Heroin Crisis Act is an important step in expanding access to this drug and helping combat Illinois’ serious opioid epidemic,” Tom Cullerton said. “In addition to expanding access to life-saving drugs, the bill lowers civil liabilities for administering naloxone in emergencies, allowing bystanders to help save a life without fear of legal trouble.”

The Heroin Crisis Act is an omnibus bill that earned praise from drug policy experts for its thoroughness. Governor Rauner issued an amendatory veto against Medicaid funding for addiction treatment, which was overridden with bipartisan support.

Kathleen Kane-Willis, director of the Illinois Consortium of Drug Policy at Roosevelt University has supported the Heroin Crisis Act.”It’s clear that HB1 has the potential to save many lives.” Kane-Willis said. “It provided people who might have been wary of administering naloxone clear protections from civil liability, thus expanding the reach of this lifesaving drug to put it in more hands.”