Quinn, Lawmakers Urged to Support $74 Million Schoenberg Plan to Boost Drug, Alcohol Abuse Prevention and Treatment to Protect Youth

(Springfield, IL) – Illinois’ leading addiction healthcare advocates today called on Governor Pat Quinn and top lawmakers to support legislation to give a $74 million financial boost to community addiction

State Senator Jeff Schoenberg

State Senator Jeff Schoenbergprevention and treatment providers who are relentlessly confronting deadly accidents involving youth linked to alcohol or drugs.

“Alcohol abuse and drunk driving continue to exact a terrible, deadly toll on youth and children in communities throughout Illinois,” said Sara Moscato Howe, CEO of the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association. “Addiction is recession-proof.”

“We are calling on Governor Pat Quinn, Speaker Michael Madigan, House Minority Leader Tom Cross, Senate President John Cullerton, and Senate

Senate President John Cullerton

Senate President John Cullerton

Minority Leader Christine Radogno to support Senator Jeff Schoenberg’s legislation to invest an additional $74 million this year into under-funded addiction healthcare services,” said Moscato Howe.

“We recognize the state faces tough budget problems, but we can’t put a price tag on saving peoples’ lives,” Moscato Howe added.

Schoenberg’s legislation, Senate Bill 1856, would appropriate an additional $18,100,000 to community based addiction treatment for Medicaid eligible individuals and KidCare enrolled children.  The legislation would also appropriate an additional $6,000,000 to expand addiction prevention services for youth.

The bill is currently in the Senate Assignment Appropriations I Committee.

Moscato Howe also noted an Illinois Department of Human Services study revealed that in 2006 nearly 40% of Illinois 12th graders had ridden in a car with a drunk or high teenager in the last year and 30% had had the same experience with a drunk or high adult.

“Illinois youth are at risk of harm and death by their alcohol and drug use and adults’ use too,” said Moscato Howe. “Governor Quinn and lawmakers must act now to increase investment in the addiction healthcare system. Saving lives must be a priority even in a recession”

“We urge the Senate Appropriations Committee to debate the risks faced by Illinois youth from drugs and alcohol and then approve the bill quickly,” said Moscato Howe.

The Senate Appropriations Committee includes: Senators Donne Trotter, Jeff Schoenberg, Jacqueline Collins, William Delgado, Mattie Hunter, Mike Jacobs, Emil Jones III, Matt Murphy, Pamela Althoff, Tim Bivins, Chris Lauzen, and Dave Syverson.

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