Updated: October 22, 2012 6:04AM
NEW LENOX — In the wake of the heroin-related deaths of two New Lenox teenagers this year, an educational symposium will be held Sept. 27 to address what local officials perceive as a heroin epidemic in Will County.
All ages are invited to attend the event from 7 to 9 p.m. at Lincoln-Way Central High School auditorium, 1801 E. Route 30.
It is hosted by the village of New Lenox, its Safe Communities America Coalition, the New Lenox Police Department and Will County HELPS (Heroin Education Leads to Preventative Solutions).
A resource fair will be from 6 to 7 p.m., featuring several organizations that provide services related to the use of heroin and other addictive substances. Representatives will be on hand to answer questions and to provide information regarding available resources.
“This (heroin epidemic) crosses every demographic, all ages, all incomes. No one is immune to this,” Public Safety Division Chief Dan Martin said. “We want to see a crowded auditorium.
“Yes, this is a problem in our community and in Will County, and we’re tackling it head on. One overdose is too much,” he said.
Guest speakers will cover the personal, emotional, educational, legal and health issues involving heroin use.
Sharing personal stories will be John Roberts, co-founder of HERO (Heroin Epidemic Relief Organization), who lost his son to heroin in 2010, and a recovering heroin addict.
Other speakers include Will County Judge Ray Nash on the consequences of heroin use from a legal perspective, Dr. Joe Troiani from the Will County Health Department, and Kris Adzia from the Robert Crown Center for Health Education on heroin’s impact on a user’s health.
“In New Lenox, two young people have lost their lives this year as a result of heroin use and we want to do everything possible to prevent any additional tragedies,” Mayor Tim Baldermann said. “We hope to educate our community of the dangers of heroin use, while providing information and resources where families can go for help.”
Participants are asked to RSVP by calling 815-740-4680 to ensure that enough handout materials are available.
For more information, contact Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 815-462-6100.