SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Department of Public Health has received a grant to help 18 rural counties in south-central Illinois hit hardest by the opioid crisis .
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration awarded the grant of more than $2 million for the next four years. Of those 18 counties, five are in the Wabash Valley. They include Crawford County, Effingham County, Jasper County, Lawrence County and Richland County.
Public Health Director Dr. Nirav Shah announced the grant Wednesday. He says rural areas often do not have as many emergency medical providers as more populous areas. So law enforcement officers are often first to arrive at an overdose scene.
Shah says the death rate from overdose in the 18 counties has increased more than 50 percent in the past two years.
Among the grant's aims is to equip every police agency squad car with naloxone. Naloxone can reverse the effects of an overdose.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
- Illinois receives $2M grant to help counter opioid crisis
- Illinois receives $16M federal grant to fight opioid abuse
- Illinois libraries receive grants to teach tech, life skills
- Marshall to receive housing grant
- Illinois Senate views marijuana as opioid alternative
- Illinois boy needs help receiving service dog
- Illinois school districts to receive additional funding
- Sullivan County Humane Society receives $1,000 grant
- 20/20 vision: Will Center receives $1,000 grant
- Homework Hotline receives $2.85 million grant