Sen. Fine

SPRINGFIELD – In 2021, more than 3,000 people in Illinois died from an opioid overdose. Although emergency medical providers have access to 4-milligram naloxone nasal spray kits, that is no longer strong enough to reverse an overdose. In response, State Senator Laura Fine is proposing a pilot program to provide first responders with 8-milligram kits.

“Opioid and drug addiction has been devastating to our communities and our state,” said Fine (D-Glenview). “Studies have found that multi-dosing of naloxone is needed to save lives.  By increasing the dosage, this will save medical professionals valuable time in saving a life.”

To increase access to this essential treatment, Senate Bill 1402 would start a two-year pilot program through the Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide FDA approved 8-milligram naloxone nasal spray kits to licensed community substance use providers and public health departments in Cook, DuPage, Winnebago, Sangamon and St. Clair counties.

When given in time, Naloxone is a lifesaving medication that can reverse an overdose from opioids, including heroin, fentanyl and prescription opioid medications. Given the recent increase in opioid overdose deaths in Illinois, many public health organizations and harm reduction groups have been utilizing naloxone in the form of a nasal spray to assist people experiencing an overdose.

As part of the pilot program, data will be collected to determine the benefits of the 8-milligram nasal spray on saving lives.  This information will include the number of spray kits administered by the emergency medical services providers per overdose incident, as well as the number of individuals who survived opioid overdoses after receiving naloxone nasal spray. The data would then be used to inform future harm reduction programs.

Senate Bill 1402 passed the Health and Human Services committee on Tuesday. It now goes to the Senate floor for further discussion.