News Local/State

Public Health Presents Opioid Webinar By University Of Illinois Extension


More health care, social service and law enforcement agencies are focusing on opioid addiction in Illinois. People have the chance to learn more about addiction to pain killers on Thursday. 

The University of Illinois Extension is hosting a webinar at noon on Thursday about what local groups — including police and social service agencies — can do to reduce opioid addiction.

How serious is the opioid crisis? Last year in Illinois, 1,900 people died of opioid overdose — twice as many as those who died in car crashes. 

Heidi Clark, Division Chief of Health and Data Policy for the Illinois Department of Public Health, will present the webinar. "I’ll be focusing on things like drug court, which provides treatment instead of incarceration, insuring all first responders carry Naloxone, participating in drug take-back says, educating community members about prescription storage and disposal and reducing stigma which encourages people to seek treatment," Clark said.

She added that reducing stigma is crucial to getting people help. "They, a lot of times, have shame associated with that and are embarrassed to seek treatment. But, treatment is the best way to overcome opioid use disorder," she explained.

People register for the free webinar at the U of I Extension website.