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updated: 8/16/2013 7:27 PM

Quinn OKs heroin task force

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  • Sam Yingling

      Sam Yingling


Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation today creating a task force aimed at beating back the rising use of heroin in the suburbs and throughout Illinois.

The proposal, from state Rep. Sam Yingling of Round Lake Beach, creates a commission that's supposed to study the problem of heroin use among high schoolers and report to lawmakers to suggest what might be done to help.

The commission would be made up of more Democrats than Republicans, a detail that rankled some GOP lawmakers. In the end, though, it was approved.

The Daily Herald reported just last month that DuPage County had seen 15 heroin overdose deaths in 17 days, and the county was on pace to surpass the 38 overdose deaths there in 2012.

"We've got something goin' on here," DuPage County Coroner Richard Jorgensen said then. "We're just shocked. This is way out of the norm."

It's unclear what lawmakers might plan to do to help. Some advocates have looked to the state to help spread the word of the danger heroin poses to young people, particularly recently in the suburbs.

The new law is effective immediately, and the task force is to send a report to lawmakers by June 30 of next year.

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