Nov. 1, 2017
In an unusual bipartisan move, the heads of three of the biggest Chicago-area governments are asking major medical groups to step up pressure on their members to generally limit opioid prescriptions to no more than seven days at a time.
In a joint letter—you can read it below—Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, and DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin called the level of opioid addiction “intolerable” and declared, “It is time for you and your members to take bold action to stop the rampant over-prescribing and abuse of pharmaceutical opioids.”
Emanuel and Preckwinkle are Democrats; Cronin is a Republican The letter sent to the Chicago-based American Medical Association and American Dental Association, and to the American Pharmacists Association in Washington.
The letter says there were at least 1,091 deaths from opioid overdose in Cook County last year, a 69 percent hike from the prior year. Driving the trend is abuse of fentanyl, with deaths from that drug up nearly 446 percent year over year.
DuPage reported more than 200 deaths in 2015, with use of fentanyl and fentanyl mixed with heroin skyrocketing last year.