The community came together this year to prevent young people from trying a drug that has taken the lives of so many.
There were at least two heroin related deaths, multiple overdoses and dozens of arrests this year.
Schools and community groups across the city reacted- organizing multiple forums throughout the year to better educated teens and parents on the dangers of the drug.
“I’ve been happy with the raised awareness because I think it helps parents realize they’re not alone,” says Heather Saylor. “And if we stick together, hopefully we can solve this problem.”
Heroin has become cheaper and more potent. Authorities also say heroin’s popularity is on the rise because users no longer need to inject it.
As a result of the growing heroin problem Governor Pat Quinn passed a new law making jail time mandatory for people who are in possession of as little as three grams of heroin.
“If we’re dealing with small time dealers out here and small time people who do this, if they know they’re going to be hit just as hard as the big deals then maybe it might make them think a little bit harder,” says former Sergeant Greg Bell.
City Council has budgeted in the hiring of a Crime Prevention Strategist to work with the local schools in the New Year.
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