Suburban DuPage County to address record number of heroin deaths

Following a record year for deaths by heroin, DuPage County has plans in motion for 2014:

The call for action in DuPage came months before the county surpassed its year-old record of 38 heroin-related deaths in 2012.Officials say there were 45 confirmed heroin-related deaths in 2013 in DuPage. And depending on the results of toxicology tests, Jorgensen said the final number could climb by one or two.

“If this was gang or gun violence in DuPage County and someone was being killed every eight days, I think the communities would be up in arms,” Wood Dale police Chief Greg Vesta said…

Heroin is more addictive and physically harmful than any other illegal drug, according to Jorgensen, who was a surgeon before becoming coroner.

That’s why, he said, it’s so important for DuPage to have a public education campaign targeted at heroin prevention. One goal of the effort will be to inform families about warning signs and where to find help. The education campaign — called “Be a Hero in DuPage” — will include a website and social media providing timely information, warning signs and resources, officials said.

DuPage County has long been one of the wealthiest counties in the United States. A story like this goes against that image. In a county that prides itself on suburban success, drug use that leads to death is likely viewed as more of an urban problem. Yet, the story for DuPage County and other suburban counties in the decades to come is that they will likely to see more urban concerns including poverty, crime, and more minorities and immigrants moving to the suburbs as they spread within metropolitan regions. It will be interesting to see how DuPage County tackles this issue…

0 thoughts on “Suburban DuPage County to address record number of heroin deaths

  1. Pingback: The difficulty of getting good data on heroin use | Legally Sociable

  2. Pingback: Studying suburban, middle-class drug dealers | Legally Sociable

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