Treating opioid addiction locally and nationally

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) 300,000 people are addicted to opioids in Illinois, according to Rosecrance leaders.

"We know that there are no boundaries to this drug epidemic. It touches families regardless of race, status, income, place in the community," says President and CEO of Rosecrance, Philip Eaton.

Philip Eaton sees first-hand the amount of people that opioid addiction affects in our area.

"This facility... It's a busy place. It's a busy place all the time; our beds are full all the time, and they keep on coming," reflects Eaton.

His center treated 7000 adults and 1,300 young adults ages 12 to 18 this year.

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman, Greg Walden, says the epidemic is something they are trying to address on a national level.

"We've made some progress, but we know that this is a long-haul for the country."

He beleives the drug is too easy for people to get access to, and is prescribed too often.

"In many instances, it's young people with a sports injury or kids gettin' into somebody's cabinet doing leftover pain pills."

Congressman Adam Kinzingers feels the responsibility to end the problem falls on all levels of government.

"We're gonna do what we can, Chairman and I, to find what programs the government can put into place. At the same time, there is responsibility on the community and on the state level," says Kinzinger.

"We must work hard with our law enforcement organizations, with our schools. This is a community response where we must address the infastructure in our community," says Eaton.

The Winnebago County Sheriff's Department says they had a task force dedicated to fighting this epidemic, however, they were forced to cut it due to budget cuts.