The stateline area continues to do battle against the opioid epidemic afflicting much of the nation.
Wednesday afternoon, a U.S. Senator and Rockford’s Mayor Tom McNamara held a discussion on how to reduce that number in the future.
Senator Dick Durbin (D) sat down and heard from local leaders and physicians at Mercyhealth’s Rockton Avenue location.
Some doctors say it has been a challenge to them personally, seeing patients who have serious, acute pain and those looking for a fix from prescribed narcotics.
Other health service agencies like Remedies, say some of their treatments have been tough to carry out due to lack of funding.
Sen. Durbin says the new federal budget has allotted about $3 billion for agencies and health systems to fight issues that come from the opioid crisis in their communities.
“If this works, to do something positive to stop this epidemic, it’s money well spent,” said Sen. Durbin. “Not only are lives lost, but terrific expenses are incurred. We know that putting money on the front end, to stop the addiction, is money well spent – not just for that family, but for taxpayers.”
There is an application process that the agencies and health systems would have to go through. If approved, it would come back to them in federal grant money.