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The state’s opioid epidemic showing no signs of slowing down. There were nearly 2,000 people who died from opioid related deaths in Illinois in 2016 and those numbers could reach close to 3,000 in the coming years, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. The agency’s Nirav Shah says they're focusing on prevention efforts.

IDPH has received a federal grant to help combat the epidemic. The $2-million in funding is from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and will be utilized in 18 south-central Illinois rural counties for prevention and education efforts. 

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