NAPERVILLE, Ill. – Within the last couple of years, addressing the issues of prescription drug addiction and overdoses has become more important than ever before. As families throughout the country battle this issue, state Rep. Janet Yang Rohr, D-Naperville, is supporting legislation that would prevent citizens who are experiencing an overdose from being prosecuted or charged with possession if they’re trying to get emergency medical assistance.
“It is time we start genuinely helping those who are addicted to drugs rather than condemning them,” said Yang Rohr. “These are human beings that have family and loved ones, and if they are experiencing an overdose, their first response should be to call 911. Unfortunately, people are too often more concerned about being charged with a crime instead of responding to the incident, which puts the life of the individual experiencing the overdose in jeopardy.”
Yang Rohr is sponsoring House Bill 3445 so that those who are addicted and are experiencing an overdose can receive emergency help without fear of incarceration. This legislation would also be referred to as Alex’s Law due to the advocacy of a local family whose young son overdosed and was not able to get the appropriate aid. Yang Rohr is committed to helping the community overcome the challenges they are facing, and she will continue working with lawmakers and Alex’s family to pass this important piece of legislation.
“Problems like addiction affect every member of the community, not just those working to overcome their disease,” said Yang Rohr. “By developing policies that eliminate the stigma around addiction and giving people the support they need to overcome their addiction, the state can provide effective and safer solutions that will keep families together.”