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Illinois joins global campaign to raise awareness about opioid recovery during National Recovery Month

The Chicago skyline will be lit purple to raise awareness for residents who have overdosed and celebrate individuals currently in recovery

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced that the Chicago Skyline will be lit purple to honor those in recovery from now through September 14, in recognition of September as National Recovery Month. Illinois residents are also encouraged to join over 13,000 IDHS staff and wear purple throughout the month to celebrate family and friends who are in recovery.

“IDHS is deeply committed to preventing overdose deaths and to helping people throughout their recovery journey. We recognize the many systemic inequities that have, too often, created barriers to treatment, recovery resources, and other social services,” said IDHS Secretary Grace B. Hou. “IDHS is actively working on reducing these barriers by breaking down silos and fostering collaboration across IDHS’ divisions and other State agencies to advance health equity for Illinois residents. We would also like to thank our community partners for hosting events this month, and the Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago for lighting their buildings purple to raise awareness.”

Events such as trainings, speaking engagements, memorials, and online activities will be hosted by IDHS’ community partners during Recovery Month. These events are critical to addressing and removing the stigma associated with overdose deaths and encouraging the public to support families and communities in remembrance of those who have lost their lives.

As part of its mission, IDHS promotes and implements strategies targeted at reducing the harmful effects of substance use in Illinois. Over 126,000 people in Illinois have been trained to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose through organizations enrolled in IDHS’ Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery’s (SUPR’s) Drug Overdose Prevention Program (DOPP) and IDHS/SUPR’s newer Access Narcan project. In State fiscal year 2022, alone, more than 3,212 overdose reversals were reported, and IDHS funded treatment services for over 40,000 people across Illinois who were suffering from substance use disorders.

IDHS is dedicated to making naloxone, the lifesaving opioid overdose reversal medication commonly referred to by the brand name Narcan, accessible. IDHS’ DOPP authorizes organizations to conduct overdose education and Narcan distribution services throughout Illinois. This includes local public health departments, community-based organizations, hospitals, and clinics. These organizations, particularly harm-reduction organizations that do street-level outreach, distribute Narcan to people who use drugs, as well as their friends and loved ones.

The State continues to provide a host of important recovery resources for residents and to celebrate individuals who are in recovery from substance use and co-occurring disorders. Please visit the National Recovery Month website to learn more about this important month.

If you or someone you know is suffering from a substance use disorder, contact the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances by calling 1-833-2FINDHELP (1-833-234-6343), texting “HELP” to 833234, or visiting:

For crisis support, dial 9-8-8 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline anytime (24/7/365).

For recovery and wellness support, call the Illinois Warm Line at 866-359-7953, Monday – Saturday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. This line provides phone-based wellness and recovery support for anyone in Illinois. It is staffed by people who identify as individuals in recovery and therefore provides a unique blend of self-directed, empowering support, with education that includes resource materials and contacts.

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