Will County continues fight against opioids with grant
Funding goes towards preventing overdoses
“We’re fortunate in Will County that we caught on to the opioid crisis early,” said Judy Ogalla (R-Monee), chair of the Public Health Committee. “This grant from the Department of Human Services bolsters our fight, but we still have a ways to go. We will continue to battle this epidemic with all of the tools available.”
“We saw some success with the distribution of the Naloxone kits last year, which is why it’s so important we use this funding to continue our efforts,” said Public Health Committee member Laurie Summers (D-Crete). “Further education on the opioid epidemic and prevention will also ensure overdose rates decrease in the future.”
Five Illinois recipients servicing six counties received the five-year grant. Earlier this year, Will County hired Dr. Kathleen Burke as the director of Substance Use Initiatives to assist with coordinating programs associated with the grant. Recently, Burke helped Ogalla and Summers hold a forum in their district to promote awareness about opioids and mental health issues.
“Overdose deaths because of opioid addiction – to prescription pain pills, heroin, and fentanyl – continue to rise,” Burke said. “It’s crucial to educate and distribute to the public Naloxone, while at the same time reducing the stigma around addiction so those with the disease more readily seek treatment.”