Program Tackles Naperville's Growing Heroin Use

A program is being held Monday at the 95th Street Library to address the use of heroin in the community.

More than a week after a Naperville teen was charged with dealing heroin, announcements went out Thursday to families in both and about a program being held Monday to inform parents about the use of heroin in the community.

Districts 203 and 204 sent the joint message to families in both districts requesting that parents be part of the conversation, the message said the focus of the meeting would be drugs in the community.

The program titled: “The Rising Tide of Heroin Abuse in Naperville” is being sponsored by the  in cooperation with the DuPage Child Abuse Prevention Coalition, the  and the Naperville Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 42.

In 2011, there were seven deaths from Heroin overdoses and many more people who were treated at , according to officials. Two other programs focusing on heroin use have been held to discuss the problem, including a program held at Edward Hospital. 

The program being held at the at 7 p.m. Feb. 13 was planned for some time, but follows who was charged with dealing heroin, after police observed the student in the middle of a transaction.

The presenters for the program will be Naperville Police Department detectives Shaun Ferguson and Mike Umbenhower, and Kimberly Groll, a drug and alcohol addictions counselor. 

At a , Ferguson and Umbenhower detailed how often teens begin the journey into drug use right in their own homes, experimenting with prescription medications that belong to parents. Other times the use of marijuana is a gateway drug to heroin. In other situations, friends may share the drug with teens who have no idea they are being given heroin, some believe they are snorting cocaine only to find out that it was heroin.

In November, roughly 50 people gathered at the event held at Edward Hospital.

District 204 Superintendent Kathy Birkett, District 203 Superintendent Mark Mitrovich and said in the joint statement released Thursday, “We need parents to be part of the discussion. We encourage you to hear for yourself how substance abuse affects the whole community, listen to the facts regarding what is happening in our own backyards, and most importantly, learn how to keep your child safe.”





naabt.org February 10, 2012 at 01:29 PM
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DreamGirl February 10, 2012 at 05:29 PM
This has been an issue since I was still in high school.This issue has only been increasing SINCE! I don't understand why people think it's a NEW issue?ALL of the drugs were extremely prevalent when I was still in school back in 1998.I personally know what it is like because I have family members and loved ones who fight addiction AND alcoholism!This is NO laughing matter to any of these people who have this problem!Those of you with kids want to deal with it right away.I could go on for days about this issue. BUT I advise ALL people with children to go to this meeting and LISTEN and PARTICIPATE! Please concentrate on what is being said or shown.Because IF you have children AND you have family members who struggle with addiction and/or alcoholism,this is even more for YOU than you may think.**It all starts with you with your kids in the privacy of your own home! You can stop this cycle before it hits your family with your kids!! Good luck and bless each and every one of you! **This is the type of ride that once you ride it the first time...you want to go again and again and again...PLEASE don't let your kids ride this ride.MOST people/kids like it too much after the first time so ALL they want to do is ride that one,specific ride! Heroin is this exact ride to which I am referring! It only takes that ONE TIME! And your HOOKED for life! Not a joke at all. A very very sad ending is in store for you and your children IF they partake in this drug.
Diane February 12, 2012 at 07:03 PM
I am impressed that you would write such a wonderful and heartfelt warning, Dreamgirl, and I am sorry for any pain anyone you know has experienced. I will add my piece to this. As a professional in the mental health field and a Mom, I am appalled that this crucial public talk was advertised so last minute. There is no way I can get out of a commitment that I have for Monday evening, to go to this, but I might have been able to, had it been advertised earlier. I am wondering if there is any way this talk can be repeated for those of us (and I know others besides myself) who cannot be there. So I will look into this. But thank you for posting this, Dreamgirl.


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