Members of a heroin task force in the Illinois House of Representatives are brainstorming for ideas to stop the increase of heroin use in Illinois. State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) leads the task force, which is made up of 36 other lawmakers from the Illinois House. He concedes addressing Illinois’ heroin problem is a tall task.
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“The system of relying on law enforcement and criminal penalties isn’t working,” said Lang. “ The cost of illegally obtained prescription pain killers like Vicodin and Oxycontin are pushing people to heroin because it’s cheaper.” Lang says the epidemic is statewide, citing 46 heroin-related deaths in DuPage County in 2013 and three suspected heroin-related deaths in Madison County in a five-hour stretch last month.
The panel will meet throughout the spring legislative session.
Serving the areas of Alton, Godfrey, East Alton, Wood River, Roxana, Edwardsville, Jerseyville, Brighton, Bethalto, Grafton, Granite City, Hartford, Highland, Troy, Fairview Heights, Belleville and the surrounding cities.