SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – First responders and public policymakers would have a valuable tool in fighting the opioid crisis under legislation sponsored by state Rep. Fran Hurley, D-Chicago, which was approved by the House Human Services Committee on Wednesday.
“Hundreds of lives are claimed by opioid overdoses in Chicago every year, and resources to combat this epidemic are spread thin across the city,” said Hurley. “My bill allows city officials and first responders to direct resources in real time through the utilization of technology that identifies specific areas in which overdoses occur most often.”
Hurley’s House Bill 2222 requires Emergency Medical Technicians responding to an opioid overdose to document certain information, including the geographic location in which the victim was encountered, whether an overdose reversal drug was administered and whether the overdose was fatal or non-fatal. The data collection will help city officials better align their limited resources to prevent and reduce opioid-related overdose deaths. Hurley’s measure passed out of the Human Services Committee with bipartisan support on Wednesday.
“Our goal with this legislation is to be able to track both opioid deaths and rescues as they happen, so that we can reach out to the areas where these instances are most concentrated,” said Hurley. “Overdose mapping technology is a valuable part of a comprehensive response to the opioid crisis, and one that we can continue to use to ensure lifesaving resources are deployed where they are most needed.”