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Oct 12, 5:53 AM EDT

Governor's opioid task force begins statewide listening tour


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Members of Gov. Bruce Rauner's new Opioid Prevention and Intervention Task Force are touring Illinois to gather information about the opioid epidemic in the hopes of bringing down the number of overdose deaths.

Task force co-chair Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti says in a news release that the group is visiting communities to talk to health care providers, people who are suffering from opioid use disorder and others.

The goal of the task force is to find ways to implement the state's Opioid Action Plan to reduce the number of opioid deaths in Illinois. Like other states, Illinois has seen a dramatic rise in the number of opioid deaths. The release says almost 1,900 people in Illinois died as a result of opioid overdoses last year.

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