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Pritzker unveils opioid plan

Tuesday, Nov 21, 2017

* Press release…

Today, JB Pritzker with the support of State Representative Deb Conroy unveiled his plan to combat Illinois’ opioid crisis as governor. With Illinois experiencing an over 44 percent increase in drug-related overdoses from 2013 to 2016, JB’s plan is a multi-faceted approach to reduce the rate of addiction through education, remove barriers to treatment, and encourage treatment instead of incarceration.

The key components of JB’s plan to combat the opioid crisis in Illinois include:

    Focus on Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Prevention and Education.
    Reduce the Risks of Prescription Opioids.
    Remove Barriers to Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery.
    Work with the Criminal Justice System to Prioritize Treatment Over Incarceration.
    Ensure Health Insurance Companies Cover Addiction Treatment Fairly.
    Leverage Federal Funding Opportunities to Fight the Opioid Epidemic Locally.

Read the full plan HERE.

“The opioid crisis in Illinois is ending too many lives and devastating too many families,” said JB Pritzker. “While this crisis is only getting worse, Bruce Rauner is once again failing to lead. From vetoing the Heroin Crisis Act to proposing funding cuts for addiction treatment, Rauner has failed as Illinois’ opioid crisis spirals out of control. It’s time for a governor ready to lead and I know that by working together and investing in prevention and treatment, we can combat the opioid epidemic in Illinois and create real, lasting change. We can and we will break the cycle of addiction today and for future generations.”

“Opioids have ravaged our communities and taken far too many lives, and it’s time Illinois had a governor ready to take concrete action to combat this epidemic,” said State Representative Deb Conroy. “While Bruce Rauner has turned a blind eye to this growing crisis, I was proud to work with JB Pritzker on this plan that will make a real difference for Illinoisans struggling with addiction. JB’s plan centers around mental health and makes both the prevention and treatment of addiction top priorities. We cannot ignore this epidemic, and it is clear that JB cares and has a plan to tackle the opioid crisis head on.”

* A few excerpts. Reducing the risks of prescriptions

To combat prescription opioid abuse, I will work with physicians to put in place measures that help keep people safe. I will fight to strengthen Illinois’ prescription monitoring program so that physicians and pharmacies have access to accurate information about the quantity of opioids their patients receive. I will also work to ensure that physicians are better trained in the dangers of opioid addiction and treatment options as part of continuing medical education.

Finally, as called for in the updated prescribing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, I will support legislation to implement comprehensive prescribing guidelines that further limit the number of days of an initial opioid prescription, which can reduce the risk for addiction.

* Removing barriers

As governor, I will use a multi-pronged approach to remove barriers to addiction and mental health treatment and recovery. I will restore the treatment, housing, and workforce development supports that were decimated under Bruce Rauner and look for ways to expand capacity across the state for treatment services.

Additionally, I will facilitate coordination between hospitals and social service agencies to ensure that individuals who receive emergency treatment for drug use are directed to treatment programs when they’re discharged. We also need to expand jail and prison substance use disorder case management systems to connect individuals to community treatment upon release. This coordination will give those suffering from drug addiction the tools they need to transition into recovery.

* Treatment over incarceration

As governor, I will work to increase access to problem-solving drug courts, ensure that judges understand the available treatment options, and ensure those options are more readily available. That means having enough space to meet demand in rehabilitation programs, including both inpatient or medication-assisted treatment programs. Providing access to this treatment will help formerly incarcerated people ease back in to the community, increasing their chances to rehabilitate their lives and reducing the likelihood of recidivism.

* Insurance coverage

However, a recent report found that 75 percent of Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) denied coverage for a range of treatments. This is in addition to almost half of commercial insurance companies that deny coverage for inpatient treatment and nearly one-third that deny coverage for partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and medication-assisted treatment. The report also found that both Medicaid MCOs and commercial insurance companies regularly use other barriers to care for mental health and substance use disorder treatment short of outright denial.

As governor, I will work to ensure that insurance companies provide the coverage for mental health and substance use disorder treatment that they are lawfully required to cover. I will strengthen enforcement of the state’s parity laws and close loopholes that still allow insurance companies and MCOs to partially deny coverage based on a range of non-quantitative treatment limitations. I will also work to expand healthcare across our state, through my first-in-the-nation public option health insurance program, IllinoisCares.

* Related…

* Opioid Task Force Continues To Search For Tools To Reduce Deaths In Illinois

* Marijuana expert: Legal weed inevitable in Illinois, likely soon

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - John Rawlssss - Tuesday, Nov 21, 17 @ 11:53 am:

    Whatever happened to personal responsibility? Stop relying on government to solve problems.

  2. - anon2 - Tuesday, Nov 21, 17 @ 12:02 pm:

    The emphasis upon treatment over incarceration is a stark reversal from the approach during the crack epidemic in the late 80s/early 90s.

  3. - Anon - Tuesday, Nov 21, 17 @ 12:04 pm:

    IDFPR regulates doctors and their prescribing. At one time there was a special unit dedicated to investigating the over prescribing of opiates. That unit was disbanded in 2010 because there was no crisis. Once again the leadership in Illinois has failed to keep its residents safe.

  4. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Nov 21, 17 @ 12:15 pm:

    ==Whatever happened to personal responsibility? Stop relying on government to solve problems. ==

    Addiction is a public health concern. It impacts not only those afflicted, but the people around them. Would you make the same assertion regarding polio of ebola?

  5. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Nov 21, 17 @ 12:17 pm:

    To the post: Looks like Pritzger is making plans to actually govern. Will Rauner’s response be to blame Madigan?

  6. - cdog - Tuesday, Nov 21, 17 @ 12:34 pm:

    Good discussion points made by Pritzker.

    It would also be helpful for him to acknowledge that a great many number of self-employed small business owners, that make under $100,000 per year, are completely screwed by the price-fixing of insurance by Obamacare racketeering.

    These are your plumbers, restaurant owners, etc.

    The next generation won’t be as dumb as we are.

    They just won’t open any businesses.

  7. - Max Bayer - Tuesday, Nov 21, 17 @ 12:37 pm:

    These are general statements from someone without government experience, kinda hard to buy.

  8. - Max Bayer - Tuesday, Nov 21, 17 @ 12:52 pm:

    === To the post: Looks like Pritzger is making plans to actually govern. Will Rauner’s response be to blame Madigan? ===

    Am I the only one that finds it odd that JB is acting like he’s already won the nomination? What transition will he make if he does win? Will he change his rhetoric at all? If, not that would make for a clear and concise GOP hit by dismissing him as simply an anti trumper who will raise taxes.

  9. - illinifan - Tuesday, Nov 21, 17 @ 12:52 pm:

    Max Bayer, yes no government experience but he has met with experts in the field (medical, justice etc) and has used this information to formulate his opinion. This is what any government official does. A lot of what he has also described is also in the works due to the Opioid task force put together by the current governor, so what he is recommending will allow the task force recommendations to continue. He is showing leadership.

  10. - Max Bayer - Tuesday, Nov 21, 17 @ 12:59 pm:

    === Max Bayer, yes no government experience but he has met with experts in the field ===

    Fair point, but the statements here were very broad and general. There is nothing wrong with listening to the experts but what has JB learned from the experts. By focusing on what he wants as an “ends” contradicts the gubernatorial force of employing a “means” through practice. What he is saying is what most democrats want to see, however, he isn’t describing what he is going to do to employ his policies in the public sphere. There are no numbers in regards to where he is getting his positions from or how they will be put into action.

  11. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Nov 21, 17 @ 1:03 pm:

    ===Am I the only one that finds it odd that JB is acting like he’s already won the nomination?===

    Yes. And you are also probably the only one that finds it odd that Rauner is acting like JB has already won the nomination.

  12. - Not It - Tuesday, Nov 21, 17 @ 1:11 pm:

    It’s always nice to take a dig at the big bad insurance companies.

  13. - Max Bayer - Tuesday, Nov 21, 17 @ 1:14 pm:

    === Yes. And you are also probably the only one that finds it odd that Rauner is acting like JB has already won the nomination. ===\

    Pretty undemocratic (on both sides) if you ask me

  14. - Max Bayer - Tuesday, Nov 21, 17 @ 1:16 pm:

    === Max Bayer, yes no government experience but he has met with experts in the field (medical, justice etc) and has used this information to formulate his opinion. ===

    But he really doesn’t specify exactly what measures he’ll take, how much it will cost, and where he’ll get the money from.

  15. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Nov 21, 17 @ 1:22 pm:

    ===But he really doesn’t specify exactly what measures he’ll take, how much it will cost, and where he’ll get the money from.===

    Kinda sounds like a primary candidate then, right?

  16. - Reaganing - Tuesday, Nov 21, 17 @ 1:33 pm:

    How is this much different that the current plan?

  17. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 21, 17 @ 1:36 pm:

    “…..and lastly, my friends, I will work tirelessly to repeal the laws of gravity…”. Man this guy talks a lot- anyone can come up with a list of solutions written by hired staff. Will he remember them? Will he actually do something about them if elected. Bruce has proved ‘What this state needs is a businessman’ can be a load of ——.

  18. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 21, 17 @ 2:43 pm:

    Usually I lean pretty far left, but in this regard I’m with Rauner.

    I had a pinched nerve in my neck this past August. It was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced, and until I could get the first of three cervical epidural steroid injection I was prescribed a cocktail of steroids, painkillers, and muscle relaxants.

    Unfortunately, they prescribed oxycodone for me when I wanted hydrocodone. Hydrocodone dulled the pain, but it lasted from dose to dose. Oxycodone elimated the pain, but it wore off and I was in serious pain again when it was time for the next dose.

    We didn’t realize the error until we picked it up and brought it home. We called the doctor and they phoned in a new prescription for hydrocodone, but I couldn’t get it because I had picked up the oxycodone. We offered to return the medication or dispose of it in front of them, but were told that wasn’t possible.

    Long story short — the regulations we have now left me in a lot of pain for a month because a doctor screwed up a prescription.

    I don’t want more regulation.

  19. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Tuesday, Nov 21, 17 @ 3:03 pm:

    ===It’s always nice to take a dig at the big bad insurance companies===

    We will all go ahead and ignore the fact that you were here not two weeks ago moaning about how Pritzker had no plan to deal with the opioid problem. Now that there is a plan, your big worry is that Pritzker is being too mean to those nice people from the insurance companies? Good grief.

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