State lawmakers introduce measure to combat heroin use

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SPRINGFIELD - A proposal that would use $25 million to battle prescription drug abuse and heroin use in Illinois has been introduced into the state legislature.

Under the measure, the Illinois Board of Education would be required to develop a heroin and opiate drug prevention program.  Pharmacies in Illinois would also be required to take back unused painkillers, and drugs that help combat heroin overdoses would be required to be dispensed and administered more widely.

The bill's sponsors, State Representatives Lou Lang and John Anthony, say they realize the plan is expensive, but that this proposal is cheaper than watching the heroin and prescription drug abuse problems grow in Illinois.

Illinois currently faces a multi-billion dollar budget hole.  Under a proposed budget from Governor Bruce Rauner, severe cuts would be made to several programs.  Lawmakers are expected to discuss the budget issue in the near future.

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