ORLAND PARK, Ill. (CBS) — Southwestern suburban Orland Park is trying to tackle a growing heroin problem with an awareness program tonight.
Orland Fire Protection District Chief Ken Brucki says there were at least six heroin overdose deaths in Orland Park last year, among about 60 heroin overdose ambulance calls. The antidote Narcan was used to save most of those lives.
“We are at war and we do not take it lightly and we’ll do whatever we have to to save our kids,” Brucki says.
He believes the heroin awareness program will give parents and young people from junior high on up eye-opening information on the devastating impact heroin has. The program is at 6 p.m. at the Orland Park Fire Protection District Administration building at 9790 W. 151st Street.
“We are a nice community but not different than any other community. Heroin is a problem,” Brucki says.
The fire chief says many students at the local high school, Carl Sandburg High School, have a lot of extra spending money to spare and use it to party.
“We know we have affluent areas of our town and they’re good kids, but the problem is good kids also overdose,” he says.
Brucki says the program tonight focuses on decision-making and adjusting to peer-pressure.
Among those slated to speak are Sandburg High School alumnus and former football player Mike Schoefield, who was drafted this year by the Denver Broncos; Kendall Coyne, who played on this year’s silver medal winning U.S. Women’s Olympic Hockey team; and current Sandburg student-athlete Patrick Brucki, son of the fire chief.
The chief said he hopes to see at least 100 parents and young people from junior high school age on up at tonight’s event.