Volume VIII, Issue II - July 2014

From:  Theodora Binion, Director
Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse

DASA's First Drug Overdose Awareness Event

DASA will be hosting our first Drug Overdose Awareness Event: "Drug Overdose Awareness and Prevention: Naxolone Distribution: Dying Is Not a Good Way to Recovery," on August 26, 2014.

International Overdose Awareness Day is held on August 31st each year to commemorate those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose and to acknowledge the grief felt by their families and friends. Celebrated around the world, International Overdose Awareness Day aims to raise awareness of drug overdose and spread the message that the tragedy of drug overdose is preventable.

In December 2011, the Illinois Department of Human Services/Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (IDHS/DASA) developed guidelines for enrollment as a Drug Overdose Prevention Program. Illinois Public Act 096-0361 (20 ILCS 301/5-23 new) is a new life saving law which took effect in 2010. This law made it legal in Illinois for prescription and distribution of naloxone to individuals, families, and other at risk of opioid overdose. Naloxone has been successfully prescribed and distributed to heroin users, their families, and friends in several areas of the United States including Illinois. Additional "Good Samaritan" legislation was passed which allows immunity from prosecution for those calling "911" for help with an overdose.

Since December 2011, DASA has enrolled over 3,000 individuals as first responders from all walks of life. DuPage County police officers are trained as first responders. One thousand eight hundred twenty-five (1,825) individuals are trained and enrolled through the DuPage County Health Department. One thousand seven hundred ninety (1,790) are DuPage County police officers. DuPage County police officers have been involved in ten overdose reversals since training and enrollment. Expansion to other police departments on a countywide and individual department basis continues throughout Illinois as well in community agencies, treatment programs, needle exchange programs, and

hospitals. Family members and support groups have also been trained and supplied with naloxone.

The Illinois Department of Human Services/Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (IDHS/DASA) will host our first Drug Overdose Awareness Event on August 26, 2014 at the James R. Thompson Center, 100 West Randolph, Chicago, Illinois 60601 in the auditorium from 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. The presenters will include individuals and groups whose families have been impacted by opioid overdose, as well as those involved in overdose prevention and intervention. The Drug Overdose Program education session will provide information about the physiological effects of opioid/heroin intoxication and overdose reversal, the Overdose Prevention and 911 Good Samaritan Laws, incorporation of overdose prevention into community and treatment programs and information about DASA Drug Overdose Prevention enrollment process.

Please email Richard Weisskopf before August 21, 2014, stating the number of staff that will be attending the DASA Drug Overdose Awareness Event at Richard.Weisskopf@illinois.gov.