Prevention Sites Would Save Lives

Submission Date: December 27, 2022
Attributing Author: Tanya Sorrell and State Rep. La Shawn Ford

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Too many people are dying from opioid overdoses. Prevention sites would save lives.

Illinois are on track for another record-breaking year of opioid overdose deaths, most of which occur on Chicago’s West Side. Prevention sites, commonly known as ‘safe injection sites,’ keep people alive and connect them to drug abuse treatment.

If you heard an ambulance last night, there’s a good chance it was taking a person with an opioid overdose to a hospital. Over 12,000 emergency medical system calls related to opioid overdoses were logged statewide in 2020-2021, which is 34 calls a day, on average, a 60% increase from 2019. And there were 3,013 overdose deaths in Illinois in 2021, a 35% increase from 2019. The current numbers for 2022 show that we’ll reach, if not surpass, the number of deaths in 2021.

Most of those calls and deaths came from Chicago’s West Side.

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