Rep. Adam Kinzinger hosts opioid forum

Published: Jul. 31, 2018 at 10:51 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Sixty-nine people in Winnebago County have died from an opioid overdose this year. One state representative is working to educate the community to reduce that number.

"Even if we just stop one overdose I think it's important,” said State Representative Adam Kinzinger.

Representative Adam Kinzinger is hosting opioid forums across the 16th district to raise awareness about the growing problem in our area.

“What’s important that you can do as a public official is to bring awareness to not just some of the challenges but also what some folks are doing to solve this problem.”

Nearly 70 people have died from an overdose this year in Winnebago County. Some say our area needs the appropriate funding to help combat this crisis.

“It’s something that the community can do some things about but the community needs resources. We do need money for treatment,” said Roscoe resident Elizabeth Lindquist.

“If we can reduce supply of opiates, so maybe that means prescribing less, taking unused medication and put it in a drop box instead of letting it sit in your medicine cabinet; those are things that can alleviate the first step,” said Kinzinger.

Kinzinger says solving this problem takes an entire community. Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana says law enforcement is working to cut off the supply of opiates, arrest suppliers and work on prevention options for addicts.

“Is it ever going to go away? No. But the more we on the war on drugs persist and get them into prevention I think we're moving in the right direction for sure,” said Sheriff Caruana.

Kinzinger says opioid addiction is a bipartisan concern and affects many people in our area. The congressman plans to host more opioid forums across the region in the upcoming days.