Press Releases

022614 js 0612RSPRINGFIELD - State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) is working to combat one of the biggest threats to the Lake County community – increased heroin use by young adults. 

On Wednesday, she attended the first meeting of the Young Adult Heroin Use Task Force, a bipartisan group of General Assembly members and stakeholders who seek legislative solutions to a dangerous problem facing Illinois teens. 

“Heroin use has been a problem for a very long time.” Senator Bush said. “But sharp increases in heroin use and heroin-related deaths have shaken up lawmakers.  It’s our hope that this task force will shed some light on real solutions.”

Although law enforcement officers, drug treatment experts and elected officials in other parts of the state have focused efforts on early awareness and compassionate intervention, their approaches have not always been successful in combating the epidemic.  Testimony offered at last night’s Task Force meeting suggested that the diversion of gateway drugs might be another way for state and local officials to decrease heroin use in Illinois.

“We are seeing heroin use grow in the suburbs because it is stronger, cheaper and easier for people to get than prescription pain medication,” Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) said.

According to Bill Gentes, project coordinator for the Lake County Underage Drinking and Drug Prevention Task Force, no heroin addict picks up heroin as their first drug.  Gentes suggests that doing more to combat access to other gateway drugs, like prescription medications, could have a significant impact on the heroin epidemic.

The goal of the Young Adults Heroin Use Task Force is to help coordinate the education and prevention efforts between law enforcement and treatment centers, as well as find legislative solutions to the mounting crisis.

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Springfield Office:
218 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-7353

District Office:
10 N. Lake St., Suite 112
Grayslake, IL 60030
Phone: (847) 548-5631