UI Extension Aims To Educate About Heroin With Documentary Screening

The Heroin Project
The Heroin Project Facebook page

The opioid crisis in Illinois will be the focus of an event Tuesday in Champaign. The University of Illinois Extension will host a screening of “The Heroin Project.” The one-hour documentary takes an up-close look at the nation’s opioid crisis and how it’s playing out in southern Illinois.

Chelsey Byers Gerstenecker is a family life educator with U of I Extension and one of the organizers of the event.

She said the opioid crisis is a big community concern, especially in the Midwest, according to data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

“When looking at the period of July 2016 to September 2017, opioid overdoses increased 30 percent in 45 states,” she said. “However, in the Midwest region, opioid overdoses increased by 70 percent. So, here in the Midwest, it’s just double the rest of the nation.”

She said the goal is to educate people about the opioid epidemic and raise awareness about resources in our community to address it.

The movie will be followed by discussion with a panel of health experts and law enforcement representatives that will take a look toward solutions.

The event  is free and open to the public. Healthcare professionals can pay a small fee to receive continuing education units for their participation in the event.

The event will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the U of I Extension Office on Country Fair Drive in Champaign.

Find more information about the event — and register in advance — at the event website.

Follow Christine on Twitter: @CTHerman

Story source: WILL