03102021CM0220SPRINGFIELD – To give young people the tools to recognize and prevent opioid abuse, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) created a new law to educate students on the dangers of opioid addiction.

“Students may be prescribed opiates to relieve pain after injuries or surgeries before they can learn the effects of addiction or dependency,” Crowe said. “It’s important that children know the health consequences associated with opioid misuse 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 law would begin engaging students in age-appropriate discussions on opioid abuse from kindergarten to eighth grade.

Her law 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 is effective immediately and will begin with the 2021-2022 academic year.

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