CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced today that Illinois will receive an additional $15 million from the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to combat the opioid crisis across the state.

Since September 2016, Illinois has been awarded over $82 million in federal funding to expand the prevention and treatment of opioid use disorders and the response to opioid overdoses. Illinois will potentially receive another $29 million in 2020.

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“With the additional funding, we’ll continue to work to ensure that all communities throughout the state have access to treatment for opioid use disorder,” said IDHS Secretary Designate Grace B Hou. “Through the expansion of medication-assisted treatment, increased number of recovery homes, additional substance use treatment at local jails and hospitals and the continuation of community outreach, Illinoisans will have more access to treatment than ever before.”

The new funding will also strengthen and enhance the Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) to continue the state’s efforts to prevent the misuse of prescription opioids, and continue to support the availability of naloxone, a life-saving drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

“We’re excited to grow our programs that have shown success throughout the state,” said Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (SUPR) Director, Dani Kirby. “The influx of federal dollars has not only helped us to expand access to medication assisted treatment programs, but also to pilot new programs to find out which ones are bringing the most successful prevention, treatment and recovery efforts to Illinois residents.”

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According to the CDC, expanding access to medication assisted treatment (MAT) is essential to an effective response to the dramatic increase in opioid-related problems. MAT involves the use of a medication to treat a substance use disorder in tandem with counseling and social supports. These medications are similar to taking medication for diabetes or asthma – they help people manage their disorder so that they can maintain their recovery. It is not the same as substituting one addictive drug for another. Once stabilized, patients do not experience the compulsive thoughts and behaviors that come with a substance use disorder.

As of March 2019, over 12,000 individuals with opioid use disorder have been served in Illinois through the federal Opioid Crisis Response Grants, which does not include individuals served through federal block grant funds, state funds or Medicaid dollars. Since the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances launched in December 2017, there have been over 11,000 calls and 21,000 website visits made to the Helpline. IDHS continues to expand prevention and outreach efforts and treatment and recovery services so all Illinoisans have access to these resources.

The State Opioid Response Grant is one of four federal grants that the State of Illinois secured from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to battle the opioid epidemic. The State Opioid Response Grant is administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services’ Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery.

For more information about federal Opioid Crisis Response Grants or IDHS programs and initiatives, visit the IDHS March 2019 Opioid Crisis Response Update.

If you or someone you know is experiencing opioid use disorder or other substance use disorders, call the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances at 1-833-2FINDHELP or visit

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