At today’s meeting of the Will County Board, members voted unanimously to pursue additional funds to continue heroin abuse prevention efforts in Will County. The board approved the county executive’s recommended application for a Justice Assistance Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. The proposed work will utilize the Robert Crown Center for Health Education’s heroin prevention curriculum in the Lincoln Way High Schools and the Wilmington Community Unit School District.
“Heroin abuse continues to plague our entire nation and as county leaders, we are obligated to do as much as possible to help fight this crisis,” said Will County Executive Larry Walsh. “These federal grant dollars will enable us to continue to educate our children about the dangers of heroin and other prescription drug abuse.”
The County has been able to offer the heroin prevention curriculum to schools in the Valley View School District and the Plainfield School District through previous JAG dollars. The Robert Crown heroin prevention curriculum teaches children to understand the risk of drug use and specifically targets prescription pain medication and heroin.
Through the 2016 JAG, the curriculum will be presented to approximately 1,750 freshmen students in the Lincoln Way High School district and 210 eighth and ninth grade students in the Wilmington School District.
“We are very thankful to Will County for offering this important prevention education to our students and their families,” said Dr. Matt Swick, soon to be superintendent for the Wilmington School District. “Our communities have been particularly hard hit by this heroin crisis and we must do all we can to educate our students about the dangers of drug abuse.”
In addition, Will County successfully launched a Narcan program in 2015 which equipped And trained first responders to administer the powerful antidote to revive those experiencing an overdose from heroin abuse.
“We are approaching the heroin epidemic in a comprehensive way,” Walsh said. “By educating students in a pro-active manner before they get caught up in this awful drug and also having first responders prepared to deal with the negative consequences of heroin use, we are hoping to save lives and get people on the road to recovery.”