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Articles filed under Heroin

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  • Durbin asks for help battling heroin epidemic Dec 24, 2014 10:05 AM
    U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and other senators are asking the federal Health and Human Services Department for more help in battling what they say is an epidemic of heroin use.

  • Suburban schools changing how they discuss heroin Dec 19, 2014 11:58 AM
    In response to the rise in local heroin use, educators say classroom scare tactics about the perils of drugs in general are evolving into lessons that take a science-based look at addiction and opioids, including heroin. “Our kids are so sophisticated today,” says DuPage County Regional Superintendent Darlene Ruscitti. “It's a whole different type of learning going on.”

  • Naperville nonprofit puts faith in parents to stem heroin's tide Dec 1, 2014 5:33 AM
    What's the answer to the heroin problem? It could be parents. One nonprofit organization is putting faith in parents as the solution to the opioid epidemic in the suburbs. “We are optimistic that families have the power to help their child make the right decision,” said Diane Overgard, project manager of ParentsMatterToo, a nonprofit education and support group in Naperville.

  • Suburban nonprofit groups strike back against heroin Dec 1, 2014 5:30 AM
    Nonprofit efforts against the heroin epidemic are taking a variety of forms as people affected by the drug work to raise awareness of its dangers, promote sober living and prevent others from using. Maybe it’s a sister motivated by a brother’s death or a health agency doing its part or a ramped-up drug prevention campaign. Here’s a look at several suburban nonprofits addressing the heroin problem.

  • DuPage receives $70,000 donation to fight heroin Nov 28, 2014 4:33 PM
    Moved by the actions of an Oak Brook man who lost his grandson to heroin, a group has donated $70,000 to a DuPage County program that equips police officers with the opiate overdose reversal drug Narcan. The Friends of Ed Heil group, which is coordinated by the Palumbo Family Foundation, made its donation to the DuPage Narcan program earlier this week during a county board meeting.

  • DuPage jury finds Chicago man guilty of drug charges Nov 15, 2014 12:13 AM
    A DuPage County jury is currently deciding the fate of the Chicago man prosecutors say was the first lieutenant of a massive heroin distribution network in Cook and DuPage counties for the past several years. Terrence Steele, 37, of Chicago is charged with nine counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, one count of racketeering and conspiracy and one count of racketeering.

  • DuPage drug cops 'making a difference' in heroin fight Oct 30, 2014 5:05 AM
    In the fight against heroin in the suburbs, the agents of the DuPage Metropolitan Enforcement Group work in the middle of the supply chain to take down dealers who bring the drug to users in the county. “We are the middle guys,” DUMEG Director Mark Piccoli said. “We investigate drug cases from the supply angle.”

  • Suburban police no longer feeling ‘helpless’ against heroin Oct 28, 2014 4:33 PM
    Police chiefs who are leading the fight against heroin in the suburbs know it's their job to arrest dealers and users. But there's more to it than enforcement of drug laws, they say. “The law enforcement end, that’s not the solution. It’s a part of the solution, but it’s not the entire solution,” Round Lake Park Police Chief George Filenko said. “There has got to be public information.”

  • Nine years for woman who supplied fatal dose of heroin in Wheaton Oct 15, 2014 4:55 PM
    A 34-year-old Summit woman was sentenced to nine years in prison Wednesday for supplying her friend with a fatal dose of heroin in 2012 in Wheaton. Jennifer Nere will be required to serve 75 percent of the sentence before being eligible for parole. She also will receive credit for 419 days already spent in custody, DuPage County Judge Daniel Guerin said. Nere was just the second person to be charged with, tried and convicted on drug-induced homicide charges in DuPage. A jury of 12 also convicted Nere in August of the lesser charge of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance. “This is not a typical case of homicide as we know it,” said Assistant State’s Attorney Jae Kwon. “It’s sad all the way around. This case has devastated multiple families.” Nere brought heroin to her friend, 32-year-old Wheaton resident Augustina Taylor, during the late-night hours of June 27, 2012, following a family party celebrating Taylor’s release after a year in prison. In the early morning hours of June 28, 2012, Taylor was found dead in her mother’s bathroom. Her death was ruled an overdose from a mixture of cocaine and heroin. Guerin called the interaction between Taylor and Nere that night a “deadly game of Russian roulette.” “But the focus today is not on the victim’s actions. For that she lost her life,” Guerin said. “And the defendant must pay with her freedom.” A teary-eyed Nere addressed Taylor’s family when given a chance to speak. “I’m very sorry. That was a stupid decision that I made,” Nere said. “I never want to touch drugs again. I miss my kids more than anything.” During the trial, prosecutors played a video and read a letter in which Nere admitted to bringing Taylor the “rock and blow” in an old sock she had previously used to wipe blood from one of her own track marks. Nere’s attorney, David Gaughan, sought the minimum sentence of six years. “The best hope to come from this tragedy is that Jennifer gets out and helps the next Tina or Jennifer get off drugs or keeps the next Tina or Jennifer from getting into drugs,” Gaughan said. Prosecutors said the case is yet another difficult story about the use of heroin in the county. “While we have made some progress in educating the public about the dangers of heroin use, we continue to see an alarming rate of heroin overdose deaths,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin said in a news release. “The circumstances of this case are particularly disheartening considering that the defendant and the victim were friends.”

  • Woman to be sentenced in Wheaton heroin overdose death Oct 14, 2014 1:45 PM
    A Summit woman found guilty of supplying her friend with a fatal dose of heroin in 2012 in Wheaton will face between six and 30 years in prison when she is sentenced Wednesday morning. DuPage County Judge Daniel Guerin, who last month denied Jennifer Nere’s attorney’s request for a new trial, will sentence Nere at 9 a.m.

  • DuPage County sheriff hopefuls debate heroin tactics Oct 6, 2014 10:27 AM
    The two candidates for DuPage County sheriff, Republican incumbent John Zaruba and Democratic challengerMike Quiroz, have different ideas about the sheriff's role in battling the heroin epidemic that's killed dozens in the county.

  • DuPage coroner: Heroin a 'challenge to our society' Sep 29, 2014 5:58 AM
    DuPage County Coroner Richard Jorgensen has taken a lead role in the campaign against heroin in Chicago's suburbs. Here's a look at the problem, as seen through his eyes, and what he's doing to combat it. “It does not embarrass DuPage County to admit that we're like everybody else,” he said. “Not addressing it and not trying to fix the problem, that embarrasses DuPage County.”

  • Increased purity, decreasing costs driving heroin use Sep 29, 2014 5:30 AM
    In the past two years, DuPage County Coroner Richard Jorgensen has seen people in their 40s, 50s and even 60s dying from heroin overdoses. He believes the increase in older users is due to what he says is the nation’s new prescription drug abuse epidemic, which can lead to heroin use.

  • Editorial: Tenacity in the battle against heroin in the suburbs Sep 28, 2014 5:01 AM
    This Daily Herald editorial reflects on the newspaper's Heroin in the Suburbs examination with the caution that the best way to beat an insidious heroin addiction is to never try heroin in the first place.

  • Heroin user still striving to 'get better eventually' Sep 28, 2014 5:54 AM
    Jon Dennison isn't over it. His addiction to heroin, which first gripped the 21-year-old when he was 17, hasn't let him go. Rather, he hasn't let go of it. “I keep wondering when it's going to stop. When the endless circle of destruction is going to stop,” he said. Dennison is one face among suburban heroin users who find themselves unable to stop once they try the drug, but he's not done fighting his addiction.

  • New trial denied in Wheaton heroin overdose death Sep 4, 2014 4:28 PM
    A Summit woman found guilty last month of supplying her friend with a fatal dose of heroin in 2012 in Wheaton now faces between six and 30 years in prison. DuPage County Judge Daniel Guerin Thursday denied Jennifer Nere’s attorney’s request for a new trial and scheduled Nere’s sentencing for 9 a.m. on Oct. 15.

  • Naperville man charged with bringing heroin into DuPage jail Aug 29, 2014 4:37 PM
    A Naperville man is behind bars charged with several heroin-related crimes, including bringing the drug into a penal institution by hiding it in his rectum. Michael Chacón, 25, of the 1200 block of Suffolk Street, recently was arrested at his home and charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

  • Dad of teen who overdosed trains parents to use antidote Aug 8, 2014 5:25 AM
    Nick Ryan, 20, died Aug. 1 of an apparent heroin overdose in Hinsdale, but his father, a former heroin addict himself, hosted a Naloxone training session Thursday because he said it doesn't have to be that way. “A week ago today was the last time my son was alive. Coulda, woulda, shoulda,” Tim Ryan said Thursday during the training session. "I know he's in a better place."

  • Berlin: DuPage drug-induced homicide cases will only increase Aug 6, 2014 9:08 AM
    DuPage County States Attorney Robert Berlin and his prosecutors are now 2-0 when it comes to prosecuting the relatively new charge of drug-induced homicide. Unfortunately, Berlin said, these first two cases are likely only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to nabbing those peddling heroin in the suburbs.

  • Summit woman found guilty in Wheaton heroin death Aug 4, 2014 10:24 PM
    A DuPage County jury deliberated for nearly four hours before finding a Jennifer Nere of Summit guilty of supplying Augustina Taylor of Wheaton with a fatal dose of heroin in 2012. Nere is just the second person to be charged with, tried and convicted on drug-induced homicide charges in DuPage County. “(Taylor) was alive all these hours, then an hour after (Nere) shows up, she’s dead,” said Assistant State’s Attorney Jae Kwon.

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