DuPage receives $70,000 donation to fight heroin

  • A DuPage County program that trains police officers on how to administer the opiate overdose reversal drug Narcan has received two large donations since October.

    A DuPage County program that trains police officers on how to administer the opiate overdose reversal drug Narcan has received two large donations since October. Daily Herald file photo

 
 
Updated 11/28/2014 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.

 

Jeff Narcisi, who spoke on behalf of the group, said the fundraising began after Heil made a $50,000 donation in October.

Heil, who lost his 18-year-old grandson to a heroin overdose in March, said at the time that he wanted to do something to prevent others from being killed by the drug. He asked for friends, foundations and other nonprofits to make matching donations.

People who know Heil heard his message.

"We were motivated -- we were moved -- by it," Narcisi said.

Narcan, or naloxone, is a nonaddictive drug that can reverse a potentially fatal heroin overdose. As part of the Narcan program, police officers are trained on how to administer the drug.

The DuPage County Health Department, which administers the program, has spent about $50,000 to buy doses of the drug for area police departments. The private donations will help sustain the program.

"We are so grateful to the Palumbo Foundation, Ed Heil and this wonderful group of community members who joined our fight to save lives in DuPage County," county board Chairman Dan Cronin said.

So far, the DuPage Narcan program has trained 1,700 officers in the use of naloxone. According to county health officials, 25 lives have been saved since the program started.

For more information, visit dupagehealth.org/dnpinfo.

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