opioids

"Telephone" by Flickr User Sh4rp_i / (CC X 2.0)

More than 1,000 calls have come in to Illinois’ new helpline for opioid addiction and substance abuse.

Officials say they expected the influx of calls. The 24/7 helpline, run by Boston-based company Health Resources in Action, launched in December. It's part of efforts to combat the state’s opioid epidemic.

Mayo Clinic News Network

Government officials in Winnebago County announced Tuesday they are taking aim at the pharmaceutical industry in the fight against opioid abuse. 

 

Rockford and County officials said they intend to pursue legal action against companies they believe helped enable the growing opioid addiction crisis. 

 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

DeKalb-area officials pooled their ideas at a public forum this week on how to tackle the opioid epidemic.

Experts in public health, medicine, law enforcement, and counseling gave their perspectives on how to curb opioid-related overdoses and arrests. They addressed topics like the lack of access to rehabilitative resources for users.

DeKalb County State’s Attorney Rick Amato says he’s working on a 14-week program for offenders who pick up first-time drug use charges.

WUIS/Illinois Issues

The opioid epidemic continues to sweep across Illinois and the rest of the nation. The Trump administration recently declared it a public health emergency. But some believe medical marijuana could be the solution.

Medicinal cannabis is legal in Illinois, but it’s only available to those who suffer from specific ailments like Muscular Dystrophy, seizures, cancer and more.

Jenna Dooley

The statistics are sobering. Opioid overdoses have killed nearly 11,000 people in Illinois since 2008. Last year alone, that number was nearly 2,000 -- twice the number of fatal car crashes. State officials estimate that number will continue to explode.

There are many players trying to address addiction head-on. That includes emergency responders, police officers, treatment centers, and family members themselves.

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