Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow has contributed $5,000 to the Heroin Epidemic Relief Organization, or HERO, a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the opioid epidemic in our communities. HERO was founded by two dads, John Roberts and Brian Kirk, after their sons Billy and Matt were tragically taken from them while battling heroin addiction.
“The founders of HERO turned the incomprehensible tragedy of losing a child to drugs into a mission of saving the lives of other children and helping parents through education, counseling, and support services,” Glasgow said. “Tragically, we continue to lose precious lives through the opioid epidemic. Last year was record setting nationwide for the number of opioid-related deaths, and Will County statistics reflect this trend. 147 people in Will County died from drug overdoses last year – and 140 of these were opioid related. That’s up from 115 opioid related deaths out of 125 overdose deaths in 2020.”
Glasgow stated that the epidemic is now being driven by illicit fentanyl and fentanyl analogs.
“Fentanyl is a synthetic drug similar to heroin but hundreds of times more potent, and is being mixed in with other drugs at an alarming rate. Even the tiniest amount can be fatal, as it depresses the central nervous system and all respiratory function,” Glasgow said. “Even though fentanyl’s potency is incredibly dangerous, it has become commonplace for dealers to lace other drugs with this synthetic killer. Drug dealers don’t care if some of their customers die because, sadly, there are plenty more to take their place.”
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, synthetic opioid deaths in Illinois have increased 2,736% since 2013.
“HERO is working every day to help educate parents so they are better prepared to talk with their children about the dangers of opioids, including fentanyl,” Roberts said. “We are grateful to State’s Attorney Glasgow for his continuing support of our programming to help prevent the tragic loss of life from drug overdoses.”
In addition to contributions totaling more than $15,000, Glasgow helped HERO with the cost of purchasing the “Hidden in Plain Sight Trailer” that shows parents where teenagers commonly hide drugs in their own homes, and joined with local businessman Terry D’Arcy to provide the SUV that pulls the trailer throughout the community. All of these contributions were funded with drug asset money seized from dealers and traffickers selling illegal narcotics in Will County, without the use of any taxpayer dollars.