Two Lake County schools will host public forums about the dangers of heroin use in upcoming weeks.
The first event is Monday, Nov. 12, at Vernon Hills High School. The second is Tuesday, Nov. 27, at Wauconda High.
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Both events will focus on heroin use in the suburbs, particularly by teenagers.
Experts say heroin use is rising among young people in the suburbs.
Heroin overdose deaths doubled in Lake and Will counties in the past four years, according to a study released in September by Roosevelt University's Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy.
Additionally, heroin-related treatment in Illinois emergency rooms jumped 27 percent for people age 20 or younger between 2008 and 2010, the study reported.
Monday's discussion will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Vernon Hills High auditorium, 145 N. Lakeview Parkway.
Panelists will include health educator Joan Drummond Olson of the Robert Crown Center in Hinsdale, Dr. Celeste Napier of Rush University Medical Center, Lake County Coroner Artis Yancey and a parent and a teen who have struggled with drug abuse.
Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran will moderate the discussion.
Community treatment centers will have booths with information and other resources.
The event's sponsors include Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128, Northwest Suburban High School District 214 and Stevenson High School District 125.
They've teamed for such programs before, including one at Stevenson High this past May.
For more information, call Vernon Hills High's Margaret Pither (847) 932-2158 or Libertyville High's Damian Kulikowski at (847) 327-7030.
The second event will run from 7 to 9 p.m. Nov. 27 at Wauconda High, 555 N. Main St.
Drug addiction experts law-enforcement representatives and a family affected by heroin will lead the program.
The event is sponsored by the Wauconda High guidance department.
For more information, visit d118.org or call (847) 526-6611, ext. 175.
Both events are free and open to the public, not just students of the respective schools or their families.
In recent months, schools and community groups have held similar discussions in St. Charles, Naperville and other communities.