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Proposals Aim To Make It Harder To Obtain Opiates Illegally

Safer Lock

Nick Gore was 20 years old when he started taking pain pills recreationally. His substance abuse turned into a dependency that lasted seven years and eventually led to heroin use and jail time.

Representative Rob Martwick wants to require locking caps for all opioid pill bottles. The caps would have a combination lock that only the person prescribed the medication would know. Gore says this could have stopped his access to the drugs.

"I can honestly say that I stole prescription pills out of many people's homes, and if I would have seen this locking pill device in their homes, I'm not sure that my addiction would have gone as great of lengths that it did," he said.

The locking cap costs four dollars. Martwick says he hopes the cost isn't passed down to consumers, but so far they aren't sure how it will be funded.

Illinois is the first state to introduce this legislation, although other states like Iowa and California are also considering requiring the locks.

The measures passed committee and now go before the full House.

Lisa Ryan is a graduate student in the public affairs reporting program at the University of Illinois at Springfield. She previously worked at Indiana Public Radio and the college radio station founded by David Letterman. She is a 2014 broadcast journalism and political science graduate of Ball State University.
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