Renz Center to hold candlelight vigil and offer overdose prevention training

  • Remember those lost to drug overdoses at the Renz Addiction Counseling Center's candlelight vigil Thursday, Aug. 30.

      Remember those lost to drug overdoses at the Renz Addiction Counseling Center's candlelight vigil Thursday, Aug. 30. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

Submitted by Renz Addiciton Counseling Center
Updated 8/15/2018 6:52 PM

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

Individuals interested in having a loved one's name highlighted at the vigil should contact Renz Center's Yesenia Lopez at or call (847) 742-3545 before Friday, Aug. 24.


"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 lost their life to a drug overdose.

Drug overdose deaths and opioid-involved deaths continue to be high in Kane County.

In 2017, 55 people died as a result of opioid-related drug overdoses, reported the Kane County Health Department/Kane County Coroner's Office. That's only slightly lower than 2016 with 58 deaths, but both years are historically the highest on record.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Drug overdoses killed 63,632 Americans in 2016, and nearly two-thirds of these deaths, 66 percent, involved a prescription or illicit opioid."

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The CDC also reported that the recent increases in drug overdose deaths are driven by continued sharp increases in deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone, such as illicitly manufactured fentanyl.

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:

• How to tell if someone is overdosing;

• Calling 9-1-1 and the information they will need;

• 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 and choose option 1.

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 licensed by the state of Illinois for its adult and adolescent outpatient treatment programs. Renz Center is a nonprofit organization funded in part by the federal government, Elgin Township, 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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