The Illinois State Capitol is pictured in Springfield. (Jerry Nowicki / Capitol News Illinois)

Amid the flurry of legislation was a measure prohibiting state universities from admitting students based on familial and donor ties, an expansion of the ban on sales of e-cigarettes to minors and a bill prohibiting stores from stocking alcoholic beverages near non-alcoholic lookalikes.

A container of Narcan, a brand name version of the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone, sits on a table following a demonstration at the Health and Human Services Humphrey Building on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo / Mark Schiefelbein, File)

Experts reacted cautiously. One described the decline as relatively small, and said it should be thought more as part of a leveling off than a decrease. Another noted that the last time a decline occurred — in 2018 — drug deaths shot up in the years that followed.

(WTTW News)

Cook County Jail provides medications for opioid use disorder to incarcerated people. Where frustration comes from advocates — and local officials — is the limitations of the Illinois Department of Corrections’ medication programming in prisons.

Chicago’s Federal Plaza is pictured during the End Overdose Now rally in downtown on Aug. 28, 2023. (Dilpreet Raju / Capitol News Illinois)

Amid five straight years of record overdose deaths in Illinois, a new state program aims to alleviate a shortage of professionals who work to prevent substance use disorders.

(WTTW News)

Ninety percent of the opioid overdose deaths involved fentanyl, according to Cook County’s Medical Examiner’s Office. 

(WTTW News)

A new state health report pinpoints racism as a public health crisis while also noting Illinois needs to improve in the areas of maternal and infant health, mental health and substance use disorders.

Overdose deaths with evidence of counterfeit pill use became more than twice as common between the second half of 2019 and the end of 2021, according to a new CDC report. (Tomas Nevesely / iStockphoto / Getty Images)

Illicitly manufactured fentanyl was involved in nearly all overdose deaths with evidence of counterfeit pills use, including more than two out of five deaths that were exclusively caused by it, CDC researchers found.

(WTTW News)

There were 103 overdose deaths attributable to fentanyl in Cook County in 2015. That number shot up to a record 1,825 in 2022, according to statistics from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. That accounts for more than 90% of all opioid-related deaths in the county.

(WTTW News)

The synthetic opioid fentanyl remains a danger in Chicago, especially in Black and Latino communities, where the odds of a fentanyl-involved overdose have significantly increased in recent years.

The overdose-reversal drug Narcan is displayed during training for employees of the Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC), Dec. 4, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved selling the leading version of naloxone without a prescription, setting the overdose-reversing drug on course to become the first opioid treatment drug to be sold over the counter.

Naloxone reverses an opioid overdose if administered in time. (WTTW News)

The key culprit appears to be the widespread availability of the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl.

Why is Puerto Rico sending addicts from the island to Chicago? WBEZ reporter Odette Yousef explains the story.

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk expands efforts to fight heroin overdoses in Cook and surrounding counties.