heroin

Heroin Task Force Seeks Support For Rural Communities

Jan 11, 2018

The Congressional Bi-Partisan Heroin Task Force laid out its 2018 agenda aimed at battling drug addiction.

The task force’s 16 priority bills address a wide variety of opioid-related issues, including expanding access to treatment, better ways to detect illegal drugs at the nation’s borders and improved monitoring of prescriptions.

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-17, sponsored one of the priority bills, which would require the Department of Agriculture to join the effort against a problem disproportionately affecting rural America.

Jessie Schlacks / WNIJ

The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office said it has used the opioid reversal drug Narcan more than a dozen times so far this year.

Face Heroin Addiction Head-On

Mar 13, 2017

In the second of a two-part Perspective, I finish my thoughts on something about which I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking.

Heroin. It doesn’t matter your age.  Your gender. Your socioeconomic status.  Where you live. Your race. It ruins lives with extreme prejudice while doing so with absolutely no prejudice.

More than 38,000 people died from heroin overdoses in the U.S. in 2016.  In Winnebago County, about two people die each week from heroin use. Each week.

"Window" By Flickr User Sam Howzit / (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois and federal health officials are seeking penalties totaling over $100,000 from a Chicago nursing home after five residents overdosed on heroin inside the facility in February.

The residents of Continental Nursing & Rehabilitation Center were hospitalized and recovered, but Illinois public health department inspectors allege at least two used heroin again hours after they were returned to the facility, even though they were supposed to be on close watch.

FDA

Attorney General Lisa Madigan and 35 other attorneys general filed an antitrust lawsuit against the makers of brand-name Suboxone. It's a prescription drug used to treat opioid addiction by easing addiction cravings.

The suit claims the companies tried to block generic competitors, leading to artificially high prices.

Numbers from Winnebago County Coroner's Office / Data visualization done in collaboration with the ddiLab in the Department of Computer Science at Northern Illinois University

The rate of heroin-related overdose deaths in Winnebago County is among the highest in Illinois.

Deaths involving drugs in the county nearly tripled in the last decade. Longtime County Coroner Sue Fiduccia says that means it's time to think outside the box when it comes to breaking down the stigma surrounding addiction and treatment.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Heroin users in one northwestern Illinois county are finding an unusual ally when they’re ready to give up drugs…their local police.

State of Illinois

A major anti-heroin initiative is now law in Illinois. It happened yesterday, when the state Senate voted to override Governor Bruce Rauner's veto of parts of the proposal.

Activist Chelsea Laliberte or Arlington Heights -- whose brother died of an overdose at age 20 -- waited years for the changes.

"When you watch peoples' lives crumble because they can't get treatment — or they can't get the appropriate level of treatment — and instead they get incarcerated, or they're in an emergency room, or they die? It's very devastating to witness," Laliberte said.

State of Illinois

The Illinois House overwhelmingly approved a plan that seeks to curb the abuse of heroin and painkilling drugs.

It's touted as a comprehensive package - though it was scaled back from its original version.

As painkillers are often seen as a gateway to heroin, the measure says doctors have to record the medical need when they prescribe narcotics for months at time. It enhances an electronic database that's used to make sure patients aren't doctor-shopping and stockpiling pills.

New Law Expands Scope of Heroin Study

Aug 6, 2014

A new Illinois law expands the scope of a state heroin task force. Governor Pat Quinn signed the legislation yesterday. It expands the age range of the Young Adult Heroin Use Task Force study to include grades six through 12.

State of Illinois

A bipartisan panel studying concerns over increasing heroin use will meet in Rockford Monday. Lawmakers will hear from members of the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office and the Rockford Fire Department.

The House Bipartisan Task Force on the Heroin Crisis will be holding a hearing Monday, July 7th from 9:00am – 12:00pm in Rockford at Rock Valley College.

Heroin's Grip Revisited

Jun 9, 2014
gracefh.com

Later this week, a legislative panel will meet to finalize a report on addressing heroin use in Illinois. It’s one of two task forces created by the General Assembly to come up with solutions. Their work comes amid concerns about the number of fatal overdoses across the state.

Heroin Message Not Getting Through

Jun 24, 2013

In 2010, WNIJ aired a series on the alarming number of heroin deaths in northern Illinois. The primary concern centered on teens and young adults. Despite efforts to curb use of the drug, the situation is getting worse in some areas. Observers say parental intervention is vital to stopping the spread of heroin. But getting the message through can be a struggle.

Agents battle spread of heroin among teens

Jul 17, 2012
justice.gov

State and federal prosecutors are working together to fight a rise in heroin trafficking. Jack Riley is a special agent in charge of the field division of the Drug Enforcement Agency in Chicago. He tells WNIJ, communities like DeKalb and Rockford aren't immune to the spread of the drug, especially its use among teens. He adds it’s not just a problem in the city of Chicago: