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updated: 5/13/2014 9:49 AM

Illinois lawmakers press heroin rehab action

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Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Illinois' congressional delegation wants to meet with the top U.S. law enforcer to discuss treatment strategies for heroin addiction as some areas of the state grapple with a surge in heroin-related deaths.

The letter sent by Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger and Democrat Bobby Rush urges the U.S. Department of Justice to take a comprehensive approach in dealing with heroin use.

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The lawmakers say treatment medications combined with counseling and case management can do more to curb heroin abuse than prison alone. They add that some offender re-entry programs and drug courts have successfully helped reduce relapse and recidivism rates.

Heroin-related deaths have risen in certain areas of the state, most notably in suburban Chicago and in southwestern Illinois.

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