heroin

Face Heroin Addiction Head-On

Mar 13, 2017

In the second of a two-part Perspective, I finish my thoughts on something about which I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking.

Heroin. It doesn’t matter your age.  Your gender. Your socioeconomic status.  Where you live. Your race. It ruins lives with extreme prejudice while doing so with absolutely no prejudice.

More than 38,000 people died from heroin overdoses in the U.S. in 2016.  In Winnebago County, about two people die each week from heroin use. Each week.

"Window" By Flickr User Sam Howzit / (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois and federal health officials are seeking penalties totaling over $100,000 from a Chicago nursing home after five residents overdosed on heroin inside the facility in February.

The residents of Continental Nursing & Rehabilitation Center were hospitalized and recovered, but Illinois public health department inspectors allege at least two used heroin again hours after they were returned to the facility, even though they were supposed to be on close watch.

FDA

Attorney General Lisa Madigan and 35 other attorneys general filed an antitrust lawsuit against the makers of brand-name Suboxone. It's a prescription drug used to treat opioid addiction by easing addiction cravings.

The suit claims the companies tried to block generic competitors, leading to artificially high prices.

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.

Pages