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Hultgren to host forum on heroin problem

Published: Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 10:31 p.m. CDT

GENEVA – U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Winfield, announced he will host a Community Leadership Forum on Heroin Prevention from 1 to 3:30 p.m. March 7 at Kane County Government Center auditorium in Building A, 719 S. Batavia Ave., Geneva.

The forum’s intent is to bring a diverse group of community stakeholders together to address the growing threat of heroin addiction and abuse in Northern Illinois, Hultgren said in a statement.

Hultgren said heroin abuse has reached an epidemic in the region, affecting children and adults, “and I want to bring all interested parties together to ensure our efforts are coordinated and that everyone is communicating with each other.”

The forum’s goal is to establish a sustainable community-based strategy that will address the various facets of opioid abuse. 

“From law enforcement to the courts and schools,” spokesman Jameson Cunningham said. “There will be 30 to 40 invited guests. The public is welcome to attend, but this will definitely be focused on the leaders themselves. The congressman is convening them together.”

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the number of people nationwide aged 12 and older who used heroin rose from 373,000 in 2007 to 669,000 in 2012.

Forum leaders include Kathleen Kane-Willis, director of the Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy and Capt. Jeffrey Coady, regional administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration which includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

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