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updated: 3/11/2013 7:26 AM

Illinois Crime Commission: Heroin is 'medical emergency'

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Associated Press

CHICAGO HEIGHTS, -- The Illinois State Crime Commission says heroin use is an epidemic, and a Will County official says it should be declared a medical emergency.

The commission met with experts Saturday during a summit at Prairie State College.

Among the participants was Joseph Troian, director of behavioral Health Programs at the Will County Health Department. He says the heroin epidemic should be declared a medical emergency.

The Crime Commission says all first responders and educational facilities should be required to have personnel trained and equipped with a heroin overdose antidote kit.

It also says the state's new 911 Good Samaritan law should be better publicized and strictly enforced. The law provides immunity from drug charges for overdose victims or witnesses who call 911 for help.

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