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Chestnut getting nearly $1.3 million to combat opioid crisis

Pantagraph - 4/17/2019

April 16-- Apr. 16--BLOOMINGTON -- Programs to combat the opioid crisis in Illinois are getting a $15 million boost in federal money, and some of that is coming to Bloomington-based Chestnut Health Systems.

Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) said that Illinois will receive an additional $15 million from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Nearly $1.3 million will be coming to Chestnut for four programs in central and southern Illinois.

"With this additional funding, we will be able to expand Narcan training and distribution, provide medication-assisted treatment to communities where treatment is currently unavailable and enhance the services we provide for pregnant and postpartum women with opioid use disorder," said Joan Hartman, Chestnut vice president of behavioral health.

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DHS Secretary-designate Grace Hou said in a prepared statement: "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 also will strengthen the Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program, which continues the state's efforts to prevent the misuse of prescription opioids, and continues the availability of naloxone (Narcan), the life-saving drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

Chestnut's funding and programs are:

* $122,000 to purchase and distribute naloxone and train first-responders -- such as police officers, firefighters and bystanders -- in their use in 10 counties, including McLean.

* $400,000 in McLean and Madison counties for medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for people with opioid-use disorder in county jails and Sheridan Correctional Center. MAT uses medications to treat the disorder, along with counseling and social support. A post-release treatment referral is included.

* $500,000 for access to medication-assisted treatment in six southern Illinois counties.

* $271,000 for enhanced services for pregnant and postpartum women with opioid use disorder in six southern Illinois counties.

Contact Paul Swiech at (309) 820-3275. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_swiech

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