News Local/State

Heroin Task Force Might Need Extra Time


A heroin prevention task force in Illinois might need an extension to finish its report.  The Young Adults Heroin Use Task Force was one of two panels created by the General Assembly to come up with solutions for what's been declared a crisis in the state.

The youth task force was scheduled to issue a report by June 30th. But panel member and State Representative John Cabello (R-Rockford) said it appears they need some more time.

"Because we don't to rush," he said. "We did a lot of this during session time. It should have started earlier, but unfortunately, it didn't."

The lawmaker said their main focus is to bolster educational programs about the dangers of heroin use.

Some parents have complained that schools haven't been willing enough to create awareness in the classroom.

"It's always been a dirty little secret," said Cabello.  "But so many people are dying that we need to bring this dirty secret out to light."

Cabello said they've heard testimony from former addicts who started using heroin at age 12. He said that's why they may push to have educational programs offered to kids as young as 8-years-old as a way to get a ahead of the problem before it starts.

Cabello said whatever is recommended to the legislature, he hopes it would not be an unfunded mandate.