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Foster applauds White House budget increases for naloxone

Feb 5, 2015
In The News

Proposed budget includes $12 million grant to increase access to heroin overdose antidote

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Illinois, applauded President Barack Obama’s budget proposal, which would increase resources for naloxone.

The president’s budget proposal included a $12 million grant to increase access to naloxone, a prescription drug used to reverse heroin and other opioid overdoses, for communities in need.

“The rapid increase in heroin abuse in Illinois and throughout the country is a devastating trend,” Foster said in a release, adding that efforts need to be taken to reverse it. “I have heard too many stories from families from all walks of life who have lost a loved one to heroin abuse.

“I am glad that the president is listening to our calls for action and hope that members of Congress will also listen as they craft their budget.”

Naloxone, which is marketed under the brand name Narcan, must be administered quickly in order to reverse an overdose. Community programs that provide brief training and equip potential bystanders and emergency responders with naloxone have demonstrated large reductions in opioid related fatalities.

“Naloxone is a critical tool for families with loved ones struggling with opioid addiction. Increasing access to naloxone will save lives,” Foster said.

Foster has urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to recognize naloxone as a safe and effective over-the-counter medication to reverse an opioid overdose. In 2014, Foster testified before the House Committee on the Budget to request additional resources to combat heroin abuse. Foster’s efforts follow multiple community forums in Illinois’ 11th District, which includes parts of Woodridge, Bolingbrook and Downers Grove, focused on fighting heroin abuse.

In DuPage County, a Narcan project started in October 2013 has provided training and supplies for about 370 local law enforcement officers. The drug is credited with saving 32 lives last year in DuPage County.