SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In an effort to prevent drug manufacturers and doctors from fueling the opioid crisis, state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, recently voted to pass a measure that expands Illinois’ prescription monitoring program, which helps to track individuals who are seeking to obtain multiple prescriptions for opioids.
“Our region has felt the effects of the opioid epidemic for over a decade now,” said Stuart. “Unfortunately, during the pandemic and stay-at-home orders, we’ve seen an increase in overdose deaths, pointing to an even greater need to expand access to treatment and make sure we’re not overprescribing powerful painkillers to patients at risk of addiction. Strengthening the prescription monitoring program allows us to more effectively track prescriptions in a way that is useful and crack down on providers who are contributing to this problem.”
Stuart supported House Bill 601, which requires opioid treatment programs that prescribe certain controlled substances to report to the state’s prescription monitoring program. Intended to prevent “doctor shopping” and identify doctors who are overprescribing, the program would not compromise patients’ personal information.
“No one law or policy will end the opioid crisis, but this is a bill that can have a positive impact toward reducing opioid abuse,” said Stuart. “I appreciate my colleagues’ support for this measure to help stop addiction before it starts and save lives in our communities.”