LiquidMedicineSPRINGFIELD – Home nurses and members of law enforcement would be able to safely dispose of unused liquid medication under a proposal sponsored by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) that advanced today in the Senate Public Health Committee.

“A key component in our fight against the opioid crisis is limiting access to highly addictive painkillers and other drugs,” Morrison said. “While we have seen success in combating doctor shopping and the over-prescribing of opioids, we must also ensure leftover painkillers – especially in home health situations – are disposed of and not readily available for potential abuse.”

Morrison’s proposal, which is contained in House Bill 1338, would expand the ability of nurses and law enforcement to properly dispose of leftover medications.

Currently, hospice and other home nurses are legally allowed to dispose of solid medications left over when a patient no longer needs them or is deceased. Liquid medications – including pain medicine often used in end-of-life care – are not currently allowed to be disposed of by nurses.

Opioid abuse continues to affect counties across Illinois and the nation. In 2016, more than 1,800 individuals died in Illinois from an opioid overdose. Between 2013 and 2015, emergency personnel administered more than 7,500 doses of naloxone, a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose.

House Bill 1338 passed the Senate Public Health Committee this afternoon without opposition and will now head to the Senate floor for further debate.

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