Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed an executive order this week that will launch new initiatives to fight the ongoing opioid crisis, including measures that could bring supervised consumption sites to the state. The executive order signed by the governor on Monday also includes provisions to address the racial inequities that exist in overdose deaths.
“This executive order begins an effort to achieve social equity as we work to end the opioid crisis in Illinois,” wrote Pritzker in a press release. “We will coordinate innovative, evidence-based approaches in partnership with harm-reduction organizations, establish local systems of care in disproportionately impacted communities, and create a comprehensive statewide opioid plan.”
Under the order, Illinois will dedicate $4.1 million to expand recovery and prevention services for individuals with opioid use disorder, including funding for four supervised consumption sites. The sites will have staff on hand to provide referrals to recovery services, ensure that visitors are using clean needles, and summon medical help in the event of an emergency.
Wiley Jenkins, the chief of epidemiology and biostatistics at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, said that supervised consumption sites can help people who are addicted to opiates until they are ready to seek recovery