052520210407SPRINGFIELD – To give young people the tools to recognize and prevent opioid abuse, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) advanced legislation through the Senate to educate students on the dangers of opioid addiction.

“Young students and athletes may be prescribed opiates to relieve pain from injuries or surgeries before learning the risks of abuse,” Crowe said. “It’s important that kids know the health consequences associated with opioid misuse and dependency before entering high school.”

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 54 Illinois residents ages 15-24 fatally overdosed in 2019, with an additional 581 non-fatally overdosing. Crowe’s plan would begin engaging students in age-appropriate discussions on opioid abuse from kindergarten to eighth grade.

Her proposal extends Illinois’ School Code to require instruction for grade school students to learn effective methods for drug abuse prevention and avoidance, including opioids and other substances.

“Our nation’s opioid crisis continues to devastate families across Illinois,” Crowe said. “The earlier we can talk to students about the dangers of opioids and substance abuse, the better chance we have at preventing addictions from taking form during a child’s developing years.”

House Bill 1162 passed the Senate Tuesday.

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