Renz Center hosts candlelight vigil, offers overdose prevention training

Updated 8/8/2017 4:18 PM

To commemorate International Overdose Awareness Day, Renz Addiction Counseling Center is inviting community residents who have lost a family member or friend to drugs or alcohol to a candlelight vigil in their honor at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31, at the Elgin location, Two American Way.

For individuals who also would like to have a loved one's name highlighted at the vigil, contact Renz Center's Clinical Director Colleen Koncilja at on or before Friday, Aug. 25.


"The candlelight vigil is a special occasion to remember loved ones lost to alcohol or drugs," said Renz Center's Executive Director Jerry Skogmo, "and an opportunity to come together as a community to remind those struggling with an addiction that overdose prevention is key and treatment is possible."

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event that aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of a drug overdose.

Drug overdose deaths and opioid-involved deaths continue to increase in the United States. "The majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of 10) involve an opioid," reported the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. "Since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and heroin) quadrupled. From 2000 to 2015 more than half a million people died from drug overdoses. Ninety-one Americans die every day from an opioid overdose."

Throughout the year, Renz Center offers opioid overdose and Naloxone prevention education and training to anyone who may be impacted by an accidental overdose. Naloxone is an antidote to opioid drugs, such as narcotic pain medications or heroin, and when administered during an opioid overdose can reduce the chance of death or brain and tissue damage due to lack of oxygen. During each 45-minute training session, participants will learn about:

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• Signs if someone is overdosing ;

• Information needed when calling 9-1-1;

• Implementing emergency first aid;

• Dispensing Naloxone;

• Accidental overdose prevention information;

• Assessment and treatment options.

A free Naloxone kit is given at the conclusion of the training session. For upcoming opioid overdose and Naloxone prevention education and training dates, call Renz Center at (847) 742-3545.

Renz Center provides a continuum of care dedicated to the prevention, intervention and treatment of addictive behaviors related to alcohol, drugs, and gambling. Services range from prevention programs for youth in the schools to outpatient treatment programs for adolescents and adults.

Priority is given to pregnant women and women with dependent children. Offices are located in Elgin, St. Charles, and Streamwood.

Renz Addiction Counseling Center is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities for its adult and adolescent outpatient treatment programs.


This accreditation represents the highest level of recognition that can be given to an organization and shows Renz Center's commitment to quality services.

The nonprofit organization is funded in part by the federal government, Fox Valley United Way, the Illinois Department of Human Services, Hanover Township, Geneva, and St. Charles 708 Mental Health Boards and other local community organizations.

To find out more about Renz Center's programs, call (847) 742-3545 or visit


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