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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.

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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