Before the House task force on heroin offers ways to fight increased abuse of the drug in Illinois, they wanted to know why there’s been an increase in the first place. Will County State’s Attorney Jim Glasgow says one reason is how quickly people can become addicted to heroin. “That chasing the dragon that they talk about. Once you use that heroin the first time, you get an incredible high, and you’re constantly chasing that,” Glasgow said.
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What’s made it worse, according to Glasgow, is that heroin is now potent and more available, especially in Illinois, where Chicago serves as a distribution center for heroin trafficking in the Midwest. The chairman of the task force, State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), says with that information, lawmakers are better equipped to discuss possible solutions to the heroin problem. “And then we’re going to have many additional hearings in various places around the state—two more in the next two weeks—to start to zero in on ideas,” Lang said. Lang said it isn’t just a Chicago-area problem, pointing to a spike in heroin-related deaths in Madison County in February.