TCullertonCommittee31015SPRINGFIELD- Two years ago, in Bartlett, Johnny Dudek’s grandmother found him unresponsive in his bedroom. Dudek overdosed during a deadly month in DuPage County in which 11 deaths were caused by lethal heroin overdoses.

In 2013, there were 46 deaths attributed to heroin overdoses in DuPage County alone.  

To prevent tragic deaths like Dudek’s, DuPage County introduced the first county-wide application of NARCAN in the state. Since 2014, 44 lives were saved by the use NARCAN, a lifesaving drug that reverses the deadly effects of drug overdoses.

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is hoping to advance the success of this countywide program by co-sponsoring Senate Bill 10, which would require state and local police officers, as well as fire protection personnel and firefighters, to be trained in administrating NARCAN.

“Drug overdoses can happen to people in their 20s and their 60s. We have a way to save lives. It’s our duty to empower our first responders with the ability to prevent drug related deaths,” said Cullerton.   

NARCAN reverses the effects of overdose for heroin, cocaine, Vicodin, OxyContin and morphine. The drug can be administered either by injection or nasal spray.

Throughout the nation, fatal drug overdoses have increased six-fold over three decades, claiming 36,000 Americans every year.

“Along with educating our young people we need to put protections in place to help them when they make bad decisions, said Cullerton. “We need to do whatever we can to save lives.”

SB 10 passed out of the Senate’s Committee on Public Health and will now move to the full Senate for consideration.

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