The 21st Show

A Story Of Addiction And Recovery; LGBT History In Schools; Mosquitoes And Ticks Season


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On the 21st: An Illinois man shares his own personal story of addiction and recovery, as pharmaceutical executives testified before Congress earlier this week on their role in the opioid crisis. Plus, a new bill that passed the state Senate would require LGBT historical figures to be covered in classrooms. And, some tips for avoiding mosquito and tick bites during the summer months.

Earlier this week the country’s major drug distributors testified before Congress about their role in our nation’s opioid crisis. Here in Illinois, many people were watching that hearing looking for answers, Dr. Thomas Britton is the CEO of the Gateway Foundation. It’s the largest nonprofit treatment center in the state. We were also joined by Nick, a recovered opioid addict from the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. He’s asked that we just use his first name.


If you think back to your what you learned in history class growing up, there are probably a few big names that come to mind - Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy among others. Now, kids in Illinois public schools could also be learning about the achievements of LGBT pioneers like Harvey Milk.


That’s part of the idea behind a new Illinois Senate Bill that would require Illinois public school history courses to devote some time to covering the contributions of LGBT historical figures. Local school districts would still set the curriculum and have control over the specific subject matter.

We were joined by Brian Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois. Then, we heard from Zach Messersmith, Director of Government Relations with the Illinois Association of School Boards. Finally, we were joined by State Senator Heather Steans, the sponsor of this bill and a Democrat representing Illinois’ 7th district, which includes the Rogers Park and the Edgewater neighborhoods on the North Side of Chicago.


It seems like we vaulted right over spring and straight into summer—which means lot of fun outside—and lots of opportunities to get bitten by mosquitoes or ticks.

We tend to think of mosquito borne illnesses happening outside the U.S. But actually, according to the CDC, illnesses from mosquitoes, ticks and fleas have actually tripled in the U.S. between 2004 and 2016.

Illinois was also in the top 20% of states for mosquito-borne diseases.

With that statistic, what do you need to know before this summer and what can you do to protect yourself from infection?

We were joined by Dr. Michael Angarone. Michael is an assistant professor of medicine and infectious diseases at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, along with Marilyn O’Hara Ruiz, who studies vector-borne illnesses spread by mosquitoes and ticks for the Department of Pathobiology at the University of Illinois.


Story source: WILL