Sheriff Warns of New Heroin Danger: 6 Injection Deaths in Past 6 Weeks

Sheriff Warns of New Heroin Danger: 6 Injection Deaths in Past 6 Weeks

Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain, along with State’s Attorney Joe McMahon and Coroner Rob Russell, are warning the public about a sudden increase in heroin overdose deaths.

Within the last six weeks, there have been six deaths from heroin injection. This is compared to 12 for the entire year, to date.

Officials say the surge is likely caused by new compounds added to heroin by trafficking groups.

Hain says the Kane County Sheriff’s Office has responded by interdicting the flow of heroin on the streets and has elevating county investigations staff collaboration with the Drug Enforcement Administration through Kane County’s Heroin Initiative Task Force.

The Sheriff’s Office has also implemented medically assisted treatment for the opioid dependent, coupled with addiction counseling, within the county jail as a means to rehabilitate the addicted population.

“Our jail is the fusion center for all of our community’s problems,” Hain said. “What we do inside our facility to support the incarcerated will hopefully have a positive impact on our citizens when they return to home.”

Hain and staff members are working toward the opening of a residential treatment center housed within the Sheriff’s Office facility that would be open to the Kane County population.

Coroner Rob Russell said that the despite the recent spate of heroin-related deaths, the number of deaths appears to be down from last year at this time.

“My sincere hope is that the rate of death continues to fall,” Russell said. “Collaboration is the key, and we continue to do it at optimal levels. This sudden increase the past six weeks is a reminder that we must continue to be vigilant throughout the year.”

McMahon said the State’s Attorney’s Office will continue to aggressively prosecute heroin dealers, and direct users toward treatment and rehabilitation.

“I recognize that we cannot arrest and prosecute our way out of this opioid addiction and overdose crisis,” he said. “Heroin is a horrible drug that becomes more dangerous and deadly when it is mixed with synthetics like fentanyl. I hope people who are using heroin or opioid products will seek treatment and counseling on their own, before it becomes an addiction.”

The Kane County Sheriff’s Office, State’s Attorney’s Office and Coroner’s Office are all members of Kane County’s Opioid Task Force, which is led by the Health Department.

Officials say the Opioid Task Force is in the process of creating “A Way Out” program, which provides law enforcement-led connections to treatment centers for the opioid addicted. In the meantime, Hain and Russell urge anyone struggling with addiction to reach out to them now for treatment referral.

Hain can be reached at 630-208-2000 and Russell can be reached at 630-232-3535.

SOURCE: Kane County Sheriff’s Office news release

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