Education is the top priority for the DuPage County Collation Against Heroin, firmly believing getting the information out about the dangers of the drug and more importantly addiction will stop the epidemic.
“Many people now a days that are getting addicted to heroin don’t know its strength, its potency and really how addictive it is and many people wish they would’ve known how dangerous it is and that’s one of the reasons we are here tonight, raising awareness, let people know, talk to your kids and maybe we can save a life and prevent a wasted life due to addiction,” said Dennis Wichern, with the Drug Enforcement Administration.
To get the word out, the forum, made up of the DuPage County Coroner, DEA and FBI officials added the first hand account of Tyler Lybert, who shared his story of how heroin impacted not only his life but his families as well.
“I have the gift of being able to speak and so does my family so why not use that toward the greater good, why not try and change that, we don’t know how else to help so we go for prevention. We want to be able to keep kids away from that before they even start,” Lybert said.
Lybert believes the most common misconception about heroin is that lack of understanding addiction.
“A lot of people come up to us and say ‘well why didn’t you just stop’ and its not that simple. A lot of people don’t understand it and don’t want to understand it because they don’t want to believe it’s happening here. So it’s a spot of ignorance they don’t want to see how bad it is and they don’t understand what addiction really means,” said Lybert.
The panel also addressed, fentanyl, a newer drug that is 100 times more powerful than morphine and often times laced with heroin.
“We were making a lot of progress but I feel like we are back stepping because of this fentanyl issue, its much more available and much more dangerous and we’re stepping back because of that,” said DuPage County Coroner, Dr. Richard Jorgensen.
Since January there have been 29 deaths due to heroin in DuPage County.
For upcoming events and efforts to fight heroin in DuPage visit heroindupage.org.
Naperville News 17’s Natalie Vitale Reports.
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