Dr. Carol Lynn Childers is a consulting psychiatrist with Healthcare Alternative Systems and Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare. After serving in private practice and at facilities such as Methodist Hospital of Chicago, Dr. Carol Lynn Childers has spent a large portion of her career working with patients who have substance abuse disorders.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of drug overdose deaths in Illinois rose nearly 10 percent between January 2017 and January 2018. During this 12-month period, 2,760 deaths from drug overdoses were reported to the CDC. This was 236 more than the number of overdose deaths the previous year. The jump was mirrored by nationwide overdose deaths, which rose more than 6 percent in the same period.
While this number includes methamphetamine, cocaine, and other illicit drugs, the Illinois director of the Department of Public Health believes that opioids are the primary cause of overdose deaths. In the past year, powerful synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, have become more common in Illinois.
State officials have attempted to address this issue by making naloxone, an overdose-stopping medication, more widely available. Illinois also implemented a program to give naltrexone, a medication that blocks opioid effects, to people being released from jail or prison.