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T he Enterprise Your Complete Source For Plainfield News Since 1887

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Volume 125 No. 13

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Fighting the good fight Communities target youth with new heroin-prevention program

D

ebates over economics and campaign reforms are a popular topic for discussion this month, but a greater, far more serious fight is afoot. In October, Will County surpassed its annual record of heroin deaths, reaching 31, with some 75 days still left in the year. Coroner Patrick O’Neill fears it could hit 50 by the year’s end. Last week at Joliet West High School, students from Shorewood and Joliet were introduced to a new heroinprevention program that will put it directly into the curriculum. The school plans to integrate heroin prevention into health classes, based on a partnership with the Robert Crown Center for Health Education, a Chicago

area leader in heroin education. The project is designed to educate beyond the classroom, including, parents, teachers and siblings in the process. “It is an absolute shame that we lose so many young people,” Will County Executive Larry Walsh said. “We are hoping that we are putting together a program that we believe is going to be successful. And I’m so proud that my alma mater, Joliet Township High School, is leading the way.” Walsh, together with States Attorney James Glasgow, helped address the school community about the new program, facilitated by Will County HELPS, the area’s heroin prevention initiative. Utilizing online resources, the classroom program leads students through real-life cases, painting the picture of the all too easy trip between

prescription pain medicine and heroin. It depicts how a teen interacts with friends, at school, at home, and how the addiction manifests, and subsequently grows out of control. Other resources available through the program include information on opioids, their effects on the brain, risk factors and ways to start a conversation about heroin with a young person. Southwest suburban communities account for a third of the heroin deaths in the state this year, as this addictive, life-altering drug digs in to communities and schools. DuPage reported 59 seizures and undercover purchases in 2011. Naperville alone had 47 heroin arrests last year. Fueled by its low cost—less than $10 gets you high—and its newfound acceptance among young people—who see it less

Submitted Photo

A counsellor talks to JCHS students about the school’s new heroin prevention initiative.

as a street drug and more of a substitute for prescription medicines like OxyContin or Vicodin—heroin is flying down the highways from Chicago’s West Side and into the hands of

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INSIDE

By Sherri Dauskurdas Staff Reporter

Opinions............................................6 Community Events...........................8 Police Report..................................10 Sports.............................................13 Puzzles............................................20 SUBSCRIBE TODAY! — Call (815) 436-2431 or go online to www.enterprisepublications.com

our children. The deaths of so many, has brought heroin addiction out of the shadows. The alarming See HEROIN, page 2


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Enterprise 11-1-12  

Enterprise 11-1-12