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Heroin-Related Deaths Spike In DuPage County

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Mike Parker Mike Parker
Mike Parker has been a general assignment reporter for CBS 2 Chicago...
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(CBS) – For several years, the problem of heroin addiction has been mushrooming in Chicago’s suburban collar counties.  Now there’s been an especially dramatic increase in heroin deaths in Du Page County.

CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports.

“This is horrible.”  That’s how Coroner Dr. Richard Jorgensen describes the sudden spike in July’s heroin overdose deaths on his watch.

From Jan. 1 to July 1, 18 heroin-related deaths were reported.

But suddenly in the last 17 days, there were 15 more heroin overdose fatalities.

They’re happening despite the warning flags raised by the sudden heroin death of “Glee” star Corey Monteith.

Says Jorgensen: “The drugs are purer, they’re easier to use. You don’t have to inject them like the bad old days. You can smoke them. We get the perception that the fear of heroin has diminished.”

Just a year ago, 20-year-old John Cacena of Naperville, a good kid from a good home, killed himself accidentally with the narcotic.

His mother, Caroline, wishes she had known then about the prescription drug Naloxone. Now she’s recommending that every addict’s family keep it at the ready.

“It’s a muscle injection drug that within moments of injection will reverse an opiate overdose,” Mrs. Cacena says.

Many drug abuse prevention groups are helping distribute Naloxone.  Some police agencies are also recommending it.

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