CHICAGO (CBS) — There’s a troubling new trend in the suburbs. A new report says heroin deaths in Lake and Will Counties have doubled over the last several years.
The study looked at heroin use from 2007 through 2011 in outlying counties.
Heroin deaths more than doubled in Lake and Will counties — from 13 deaths to 28 in Lake, a 115 percent increase, and from 15 to 30 deaths in Will County, a 100 percent hike.
The study shows an increase in young Caucasian heroin users. Teens are more likely to use the drug after trying marijuana or prescription pain killers.
“They find that marijuana hasn’t killed them and it hasn’t maybe resulted in some horrible outcome, and so then they think well maybe they were lying about the other drugs,” Roosevelt’s Kathie Kane-Willis tells CBS 2.
The report finds that for the second year in a row, heroin is the second-most common reason to be admitted for public treatment, behind alcohol.
John Roberts is a 30-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department who moved his family to Homer Glen in Will County in 2004. That year, his youngest son, Billy, tried marijuana and alcohol for the first time.
“When Billy confided to me that he had tried heroin, you could have knocked me over with a proverbial feather,” Roberts said.
Billy Roberts died of a heroin overdose on Sept. 26, 2009.