heroin

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.

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