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updated: 3/5/2014 12:16 PM

Lawmakers want new heroin laws by summer

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  • State Rep. Dennis Reboletti, an Elmhurst Republican, is one of the suburban lawmakers on a panel trying to come up with new ways to combat heroin use.

       State Rep. Dennis Reboletti, an Elmhurst Republican, is one of the suburban lawmakers on a panel trying to come up with new ways to combat heroin use.
    Zachary White | Staff Photographer

 
By Zachary White
zwhite@dailyherald.com

State lawmakers said Tuesday they'd like to approve a package of new rules this year to try to combat heroin addiction in the suburbs and around the state.

A large panel of lawmakers met to talk about a path to approving new rules, saying they'll take testimony in the coming months from people who have ideas.

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"It is epidemic levels, and we need to take the steps to find a solution," state Rep. Kathleen Willis, an Addison Democrat, said.

State Rep. Dennis Reboletti, a Elmhurst Republican, said the system is not working to help addicts turn their lives around, and he hopes the task force make changes along those lines.

"Numerous times we have people waiting three, four, five, six weeks to get into a treatment facility, to get into aftercare, into halfway houses, and many of those folks never make it in," Reboletti said.

Heroin overdose deaths continue to be a scourge in the suburbs, and it's unclear what specifically lawmakers might try to do to help.

Still, state Rep. Lou Lang, a Skokie Democrat and leader of the new task force, said the group will aim to pass new measures by the May 31 adjournment date.

"We're going to try to have some legislation during this legislative session," Lang said.

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