Substance Abuse/Mental Health

Substance Use and Mental Health

In America today there are crises surrounding substance use, particularly opioids, and mental health which we can no longer avoid. 130 people die everyday as a result of opioid overdoses, and the CDCP estimates that the cost of prescription opioid misuse is over 78 billion dollars each year! I believe in accountability, and the fact is this crisis is primarily due to a lack of oversight and regulation over the Pharmaceutical industry, which promoted these drugs to physicians with the false pretense that they were non-addictive. I think it speaks volumes about our current mental health system when one of the largest mental health facilities in the country is Cook County Jail. On top of the fact that the stigma of mental health is a barrier from seeking proper care, mental health centers have been closing across our state due to a decrease in funding. Our families simply do not have adequate access to the programs and resources they need to help them overcome these issues. As your Congressman I would:

  • Partner with existing sliding scale mental health clinics and rehabilitation centers across IL-3 and create an outreach and transportation plan for underserved communities.
  • Push for a reallocation of federal funding to support the creation of sustainable, sliding scale mental health clinics and rehabilitation centers, particularly in underserved areas.
  • Hold pharmaceutical companies accountable by working to initiate investigations into their practices surrounding their promotion of opioids to Physicians from the mid 1990s to early 2000s.

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