JBT SenateBill189SPRINGFIELD— Legislation that would require the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) to create and maintain a website to educate people on heroin and prescription opioid abuse was approved by the Illinois Senate’s Human Services Committee on Tuesday.

State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is the measure’s Senate sponsor.

“It’s very important that we continue to find ways to address heroin and prescription opioid abuse addiction,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Too many lives and families have been destroyed by addiction. We need to get people the resources and help they need.”

Under House Bill 3161, the website developed and maintained by DHS would include the warning signs of heroin and opioid addiction, helpful tips for parents on how to discuss the dangers of addiction with their children, available treatment options and services and other related information.

“By creating a website that provides information on addiction treatment, people will be able to get help sooner and lives will be saved,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

Will County saw a record number of heroin related-deaths in 2016, an increase of more than 40 percent from the previous year. According to the Will County coroner’s office, 77 people died in Will County due to opioid overdoses in 2016.

Bertino-Tarrant has actively tried to combat addiction-related problems in her district. She served as the co-chairwoman of the Young Adults Heroin Use Task Force and hosted heroin/drug prevention forums in her district.

Bertino-Tarrant also supported House Bill 1, a law designed to comprehensively address the significant increase in heroin and opioid-related overdoses and deaths over the past 10 years.

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