One candidate seeking the governors's seat says he has a plan for fighting the Opioid epidemic in Illinois.
On Monday Democrat JB Pritzker talked with paramedics and managers at Advanced Medical Transport ambulance company about the opioid crisis. Pritzker says the problem is tied to many mental health patients who fall through the cracks.
"I think folding your arms for two years 6 days and being unwilling to pass a budget or sign a budget is what Bruce Rauner has been all about and that's what caused a decline in mental health services," he said.
Pritzker says he has a six point plan for dealing with the opioid crisis. treatment of mental health patients, prevention and reducing the risks of prescription opioids among other things. Advanced Medical Transport says its seen a 74-percent increase in overdoses since January of this year.
"I would like to see treatment centers, I would like to see a lot of referrals, maybe these people who are repeat overdose people that we go out to see, maybe take them and actually put them in a program," said AMT Paramedic Brad Flessner.
A spokesman for Governor Rauner's office said the governor is committed to reducing opioid related deaths in Illinois, and signed an executive order establishing the Opioid Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force. He has expanded access to life saving drugs like narcan and is putting in place resources to help those suffering from addiction like the helpline launched last week.