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.
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.
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.
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: