Illinois Lawmakers To Propose Measure To Battle Heroin Abuse

Two Illinois lawmakers plan to propose bipartisan legislation Monday to combat growing heroin and prescription drug abuse, though they acknowledge it may be tough to pass in a difficult budget year.

The 240-page bill, sponsored by House Democratic Assistant Majority Leader Lou Lang and GOP State Rep. John Anthony, is a byproduct of legislative task force that traveled around the state over recent months to hear testimony from doctors, coroners, pharmacists, treatment centers, addicts and family members on heroin use and its correlation to prescription drug abuse.

The legislation, the details of which Lang shared with The Associated Press in advance of its filing, would require drugs combating heroin overdoses, such as Narcan, to be dispensed more widely to those who have been trained to properly administer them.

Currently, some police units carry the antidotes, but the legislation would require all state and local government agencies that employ law enforcement officers and firefighters to possess them. School officials and family members of addicts could also administer the drugs, if they received proper training. CBS Chicago has the story.