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Chicago To Spend More For Opioid Treatment Services

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The city of Chicago is making some new moves aimed at fighting the opioid epidemic.

WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports.

The Chicago Department of Public Health is adding another $500,000 to programs for opioid treatment services across the city.

Health Commissioner Dr. Julie Morita says the effort will be targeted.

"We have data from overdose deaths to know which geographic areas are more affected, which racial and ethnic groups are more affected by these overdoses," says Morita. "And so when we've made funding available for medication, what we've done is really focus on health care providers in these communities where we see these overdoses occurring."

On another front, the Emanuel administration is announcing that all Chicago police officers will be provided with naloxone.

That's an overdose reversing drug.

And the police will be trained on how to administer the drug.

According to the city of Chicago, the initial rollout will take place in districts noted for high overdoses.

They include Calumet, Gresham, Harrison and Ogden. The Chicago Police Department will fund $200,000 to distribute naloxone.

Last year, Chicago Alderman Ed Burke held a council hearing on the opioid crisis.

That's when the city passed a resolution calling on state and federal officials to declare a national health crisis and to expand naloxone to first responders.

In 2017, there were more than 7,500 opioid overdoses treated by the Chicago Fire Department.

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