CHICAGO (CBS) — State lawmakers, other local elected officials, and drug awareness groups gathered Monday morning in Chicago to discuss the state’s growing opioid addiction epidemic — which claimed more than 1,400 lives in 2015.

Those fighting the opioid problem shared stories and concerns at a meeting at the Gateway Foundation drug treatment center on the West Side.

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In 2015, more than 1,400 people died of opioid overdoses in Illinois, according to Chelsea Laliberte, executive director of Live4Lali, a non-proift dedicated to drug prevention education.

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“If this was Ebola, if this was cancer, if this was anything else, this would have been handled already; but it’s taken longer, because of the stigma,” she said.

The state passed a law in 2015 to address heroin, but it didn’t include the growing and deadly problem of fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid pain medication that is much stronger than heroin or morphine.

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Also, with no state budget for more than 18 months, drug treatment centers and programs have been saddled with budget cuts and major delays in state funding.