The expansion plan will help Illinois share information with other states, letting doctors see what kind of pills a patient's taken and providing a way to look for any signs of abuse.
"Why did you decide to come here?"
"Alcoholism, and addiction to medications."
Joshua Majzell checked himself in to rehab two weeks ago. He came to the Gateway Foundation looking for help. He was addicted to some serious painkillers, taking more than a dozen in a single day.
"I was slowly killing myself."
Thousands share the same kind of addiction. It's an addiction Randy Malan wants to help prevent. He runs the state's Prescription Monitoring Program.
"This truly is a collaborative effort with health care professionals and the state."
The internet database gives doctors an extra tool to use to check out a patient's history. It would provide a list of what kinds of medications a patient's taken and why. It also helps doctors spot substance abuse.
"What we're wanting to do is balance the need with oversight and control with reasonable access."
The database is getting ready to get a lot bigger. Malan says they're going to join a national network, giving them a way to share info with others states. Majzell says it sounds great "in theory," but says addicts will always find a way to get their fix.
"What do you think needs to be done to keep people from abusing pills, or do you think anything can even be done?"
"I don't think anything can be done."
All the patient history is completely confidential. Doctors have to subscribe to the database. Malan says they're also looking to change the site making it easier to find information.