Villa passes bill to protect concertgoers from overdose

SPRINGFIELD – To equip music venues with overdose-reversing medications and increase patron safety at concert venues, State Senator Karina Villa advanced a bill from the Senate on Friday.

“Going to a concert is meant to be a relaxing and joyful experience – one bad decision should not cost someone their health or life,” said Villa (D-West Chicago). “This bill will save lives by expanding first aid in concert halls, training staff to treat overdose and ensuring the proper tools are on site.”

House Bill 1557 requires for-profit music venues that have an occupancy of 1,000 or more to have opioid-overdose antidotes, such as naloxone, on hand and have staff members who are sufficiently trained in administrating it. This bill applies to music venues for live concerts or musical performances for which tickets are sold for entry.

Naloxone is used to reverse an opioid overdose by blocking the effects of opiates on the brain and restoring breathing. Amphetamine and ecstasy are common “party drugs” used at concerts that could potentially be laced with opioids. Those attending a concert could consume a drug unaware of the harmful contents inside leading to possible overdose. This measure would equip venue staff with the resources and training needed to help prevent concertgoers from overdosing.

“Those who consume a harmful substance on purpose or accidentally at a concert or music festival might not be aware they are putting opioids into their system,” Villa said. “We cannot catch every single person who sneaks harmful substances into a concert; however, we can help those who might be at risk of overdosing by putting in place this backup measure.”

House Bill 1557 passed the Senate on Friday.