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Blog: A community’s response planned to address heroin crisis

To combat McHenry County’s ongoing heroin problem, Centegra Health System and other agencies are working together to curb the drug’s use in the county. The McHenry County Substance Abuse Coalition invites everyone to be a part of the solution. A community meeting will be conducted from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16 in the McHenry County College auditorium.

Heroin Forum (2)[1]Since last summer, the McHenry County Sheriff’s Police Narcotics Division and Intelligence Led Policing Unit have launched 34 separate heroin investigations, netting 25 arrests and the seizure of more than 75 grams of heroin. McHenry County’s heroin problem is driven by Chicago’s gang-related drug trade, and it has been an increasing problem the past three years, according to police.There were 52 heroin deaths in McHenry County from 2009 to 2012, according to the McHenry County Coroner’s Office. So far in 2013, there have been six heroin overdose deaths, which doesn’t include the two Woodstock residents who appeared to have died of a drug overdose Aug. 23.This year heroin has proved to be the county’s drug of choice, according to data collected by Rosecrance McHenry County, a substance abuse treatment facility in McHenry.

From July 2012 to June 2013, more patients were admitted for heroin use than any other drug, including alcohol. One-hundred forty-two of the 423 adults who came in for substance abuse tested positive for heroin, followed by 121 for alcohol, 66 for marijuana, and 60 for “other hallucinogens.”

To provide information about illegal drug activity, people can contact their local police agency or the McHenry County Sheriff at 815-338-2155. Anonymous tips can be provided to Crime Stoppers of McHenry County at 1-800-762-7867. The Oct. 16 meeting is open to the public.

The Oct. 16 presentation would not be possible without the support of the following:

  • 22nd Judicial Circuit Family Violence Coordinating Council
  • H.E.A.T. (Heroin Enforcement Arrest Taskforce) – McHenry County Sheriff’s Office
  • 22nd Judicial Circuit Special Courts
  • Northwest Community Counseling
  • Centegra Health System
  • Rosecrance
  • McHenry County Mental Health Board
  • McHenry County Regional Office of Education