NAPERVILLE, Ill. – As part of her commitment to helping individuals who struggle with addiction, state Rep. Janet Yang Rohr, D-Naperville, recently supported a measure that offers better access to treatment for people fighting addiction.
“When people think about drug addiction, they often don’t realize that it is their friends, family, and neighbors who are trying to overcome this difficult disease,” said Yang Rohr. “For too long, our community has had inadequate leadership who clung to failed policies that wasted lives and wasted our dollars. I want every family in our community who is silently fighting this illness to know that I will stand up for them, no matter what.”
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, from 2016 to 2018, 20,000 people in Illinois were convicted of felonies for possessing small amounts of drugs, and 7,500 were imprisoned. Yang Rohr voted for House Bill 3447, also known as, “Reducing Barriers to Recovery”, which would reclassify the penalty for the possession of small amounts of drugs from a felony to a Class A misdemeanor. Similar legislation is in place in well over a dozen states around the country, including Utah, Iowa, and Wisconsin.
Yang Rohr has supported and passed several other measures that work to address mental health and addiction issues, including House Bill 3445, which would help those who are addicted and are experiencing an overdose to receive emergency help without fear of incarceration. She also passed House Bill 1778, which would require schools and public colleges or universities who issue identification cards to include suicide and prevention hotline numbers on the ID card.
“This is legislation that saves lives, keeps families together, and stops wasting our tax dollars. Drug addiction has caused pain to far too many families and individuals each year. It is critical that we take the necessary steps to help individuals get treatment so they no longer have to suffer,” said Yang Rohr. “DuPage and Will Counties, in addition to communities throughout the entire country, have been fighting against the negative consequences of the opioid epidemic. It is time that we make decisions grounded in data to craft policies that provide real assistance to families instead of the fear-based emotions that other leaders have relied on for far too long.”