Lawrence M. Walsh
The abuse of prescription opioids, heroin and/or fentanyl claimed at least 1,000 lives in Northeastern Illinois last year, and the devastating final tallies are expected to rise significantly as local coroners and medical examiners continue compiling 2016 statistics.
The 2017 HERO-HELPS Southwest Coalition Community Summit will focus on the Illinois Prescription Opioid Overdose Prevention Grant and the innovative strategies Will, DuPage, Lake, and Cook counties are implementing to prevent prescription opioid abuse, which is a pathway to heroin addiction for many.
The summit is slated from 7:30 - 11:30 a.m., Friday, April 21 at the
Edward Hospital Athletic and Event Center, 55 Phelps Ave., Romeoville.
During an informative panel discussion, participants from Will, DuPage, Lake, and Cook counties will discuss their efforts on the front line to end the heroin/opioid epidemic that has claimed countless lives across the Nation.
“The 2016 statistics from local coroners are not yet completed, but they already paint a bleak picture of an epidemic that shows no signs of slowing,” said Paul Lauridsen, executive director of Stepping Stones Treatment Center and a summit organizer. “This year’s summit will concentrate on one of the root causes of opioid addiction and focus on unique approaches to slow the rate of overdose deaths.”
Families, public officials, police, health care providers, educators, and the public are encouraged to attend this free event to learn about the heroin epidemic and the abuse of opioids. The event also will feature a resource expo with more than 30 organizations providing information on their services.
CMEs and CEUs are provided for educators, medical professionals, social workers, licensed counselors, and addiction prevention, treatment and recovery support professionals.
While pre-registration is not required, those planning to attend are encouraged to visit the Web site: www.HeroHelpsSWC.org.