Illinois drug deaths outnumber deaths from gun violence

SPRINGFIELD — If the governor signs an anti-heroin bill, it would be one of the legislative highlights for Illinois lawmakers in 2015.

According to State Sen. Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge), heroin is the most commonly cited drug among drug treatment admissions.

Kotowski notes that in the most recent year available, Illinois had 1,200 people die from drug deaths, which are more than die from gun violence, and almost as many die from motor vehicle incidents.

While others were concerned about the $58 million cost of the package – which is subject to appropriation – Kotowski says the current setup is more costly.

He said the state spends about $120 million a year on drug addiction treatment and that doesn’t cover the deaths, arrests, incarcerations, or lost productivity.

The bill includes regulations about the prescription, dispensing, and disposal of opioids, coverage of treatment, and the promotion of counteracting drugs.

H.B. 1 passed the House, 114-0, and the Senate, 46-4-6, and awaits the governor’s action.