How serious is the opioid crisis in Illinois? Last year, 1,900 people died of opioid overdose in our state -- twice as many as those who died in car crashes.
To help provide more knowledge about addiction to pain killers, the University of Illinois Extension is hosting a free webinar at noon Thursday about what local groups -- including police and social service agencies --- can do to reduce opioid addiction.
Heidi Clark, Division Chief of Health and Data Policy for the Illinois Department of Public Health, will present the webinar.
"I’ll be focusing on things like drug court, which provides treatment instead of incarceration, insuring all first responders carry Naloxone, participating in drug take-back days, educating community members about prescription storage and disposal, and reducing stigma -- which encourages people to seek treatment," Clark said.
She added that reducing stigma is crucial to getting people help. "They, a lot of times, have shame associated with that and are embarrassed to seek treatment. But, treatment is the best way to overcome opioid use disorder," Clark explained.
Registration for the free webinar is through the U of I Extension website.