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Task force would target heroin problem

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To contact state Rep. Natalie Manley, call (815) 725-2741 or email her at repmanley@gmail.com.

Updated: May 1, 2014 7:12AM



While Will County officials plan their next community forum on the local heroin epidemic for May 17, state Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, has sponsored legislation in the General Assembly that would expand the scope of the Young Adults Heroin Use Task Force.

The measure recently sailed out of the House Judiciary Committee.

Manley’s legislation would expand the scope of the Young Adult Heroin Task Force to address the problem at a younger age. The task force would review programs used in Illinois middle schools and high schools to prevent heroin use and spread awareness, and then make recommendations for effective statewide practices.

“Everyone can agree on one thing — we must reach children earlier to make the most impact, and stop this dangerous drug from taking lives,” she said.

Manley is hosting a Young Adults Heroin Use Task Force hearing at 10 a.m. April 19 at Troy Middle School, 5800 W. Theodore St., Plainfield.

“Will County’s recent united effort to bring together community resources and collaboration has been successful, but we still have much further to go,” Manley said.

“I am supporting a number of initiatives at the state level, including bills to increase supervision of prescription pain medication, strengthen penalties for ‘Krokodil,’ and generate further awareness and discussion of long-term solutions.”

The task force will be one topic discussed at Will County’s third annual 2014 HERO HELPS Community Summit on May 17 at the Romeoville Athletic and Event Center in Romeoville, 55 Phelps Ave.

This year’s event will focus on how to stop heroin abuse by turning the tide through collaboration.

HERO (Heroin Epidemic Resource Organization) and Will County HELPS (Heroin Education Leads to Preventative Solutions) have joined with the DuPage Health Department to further promote heroin prevention and treatment.

“Will County and DuPage County have both experienced high rates of heroin use and overdose deaths so it is a perfect partnership to join together to spread our message,” Paul Lauridsen, the event chairman, said.

The forum is open to families, public officials, law enforcement, health care providers, educators and the public to learn more about the local heroin crisis and potential solutions.

Educational sessions will highlight the progress and practices in the areas of the science of addiction, treatment options, and the role of law enforcement in fighting heroin.



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