DuPage County’s Heroin/Opioid Prevention and Education Task Force will benefit from double its funding share now that the county board has adopted its budget for fiscal year 2022. The decision made at Tuesday’s meeting is meant to help the county better tackle the opioid epidemic.
Importance of Added Funding
Chairman Dan Cronin said it is important to increase the county’s commitment to the task force from $100,000 to $200,000.
The task force is charged with leading county efforts to prevent and educate the public about the dangers of heroin and opioid abuse. It has a track record of dispensing grants to community organizations and social service and substance abuse providers that play a part in tackling the opioid epidemic in the county.
How Funds Will Be Used
Board Member Greg Hart said the added funding will allow the county to continue to find programs that are innovative and connect people to resources enabling them to find success in treatment.
The HOPE Task Force has won two national awards for its efforts in the last two years, one for partnering with the WorkNet DuPage Career Center to create employment opportunities for those in treatment and another for establishing a specialty court for first-time drug offenders entering the court system.
Hart said that having the chairman’s commitment means a lot.
“I’m thrilled about the chairman’s decision to double that,” Hart said. “I think it’s very needed in our community right now. We’ve seen what’s been happening since the COVID-19 pandemic. Nationally, we’ve seen national increases related to opioids, and DuPage is not immune to that unfortunately.”
Hart said the added funds will go a long way toward fighting the opioid epidemic in the county.
“I think we’ve been doing a great job with the existing funding, but an additional round of funding and doubling resources will no doubt have a broader impact,” he said.
Naperville News 17’s Megann Horstead reports.
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