Volume XV, Issue V - August 2021

From:  David T. Jones, Director
Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery

IDHS/SUPR Access Narcan Program is Live!

In 2020, there were 2,944 opioid overdose deaths in Illinois. This is a 33% increase from 2019 and the highest number of yearly fatalities that Illinois has on record. The Illinois Department of Human Services/Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (IDHS/SUPR) aims to reduce the number of opioid overdoses through the expansion of community-based Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution (OEND) services. IDHS/SUPR manages the Drug Overdose Prevention Program (DOPP), the state's overdose prevention program, as authorized by the Substance Use Disorder Act ((20 ILCS 301/). Organizations that are currently enrolled and new DOPP enrollees will be provided with access to directly order Narcan (naloxone nasal spray) at no cost to the organizations.

IDHS/SUPR invested nearly $13 million aimed at fighting the opioid crisis through expanding community-based access to this lifesaving medication. Increasing access to naloxone is one of multiple harm reduction strategies IDHS/SUPR is utilizing to support people experiencing substance use disorders. The state is using a combination of Cannabis Tax Revenue and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) State Opioid Response grant funds to support this effort.

Organizations eligible to enroll in the Drug Overdose Prevention Program and order Narcan include SUPR licensed substance use treatment programs; recovery homes; local public health departments; educational facilities; not-for-profit community-based organizations; faith-based organizations; police departments; homeless shelters, and local businesses. In addition, IDHS/SUPR is making Narcan available to hospitals, clinics, and urgent care facilities through this program.

SUPR Funded Providers:  Access Narcan can assist with meeting the following contractual requirement:  All funded treatment organizations must certify on the FY 2021 Online Annual Certification Plan Survey, that all professional and support staff have received opioid overdose education and training that includes how to recognize an overdose and instruction on how to administer naloxone, a life-saving medication used to reverse a suspected opioid drug overdose.

Organizations must also certify that naloxone is readily accessible to all staff members at each treatment facility and that such training is a part of any new employee orientation. (SUPR Contractual Policy Manual)

Organizations enrolled in the DOPP are responsible for training and education, maintaining a supply of naloxone, and reporting information into the naloxone data reporting portal. Local organizations are essential to ending the overdose crisis in Illinois by making sure that anybody who may witness an opioid overdose is equipped with naloxone and the knowledge they need to save a life.

It is recommended that your organization obtain naloxone so that you can distribute it to your patients, their friends and loved ones.

Illinois Public Act 099-0480 became effective September 9, 2015 as an enhancement to Illinois Public Act 096-0361, enabling nonmedical persons to administer naloxone without liability. Anyone in Illinois can get trained to carry and administer naloxone. Illinois' Good Samaritan Law (PA-096-0361) took effect in 2010, making it legal in Illinois for non-medical persons to administer the drug overdose reversal medication naloxone to another individual in order to prevent an opioid/heroin overdose from becoming fatal.