5 Counties File Suit Against Pharmaceuticals Over Opioid Crisis

December 21, 2017 (NBC Chicago) Five Illinois counties are joining the fight against opioid abuse, as they are suing pharmaceutical companies in an effort to hold manufacturers accountable for the nation's growing opioid epidemic.

Families of those affected by opioid abuse welcome the suit, including Felicia Miceli. Her son, Louie was on painkillers because of sports-related injuries, but soon became addicted to heroin. In 2012, he died of a drug overdose at the age of 24.

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LTM Speaks at Corpus Christi Church Heroin Awareness Event

LTM Speaks at Corpus Christi Church Heroin Awareness Event

Carol Stream, IL - December 8, 2013 - Attendees at the Sunday December 8 2013 event heard a disturbing report on Heroin usage in DuPage County. The Chicago western suburbs have seen an increase in Heroin use, especially with young people.

Corpus Christi Church in Carol Stream, Shining Light, NFP along with Corpus Christi, LTM Foundation and other community partners hosted an informational meeting on the growing use of heroin in the western suburbs and the surrounding communities. Video by LTM Media Dept.

WGN Interview - Heroin epidemic plaguing DuPage County

WGN Interview - Heroin epidemic plaguing DuPage County

Heroin use is up all over the United States, but it’s especially bad in Illinois.

Heroin is a drug that is cheap and available just about everywhere. A $10 dollar bag can keep someone high for a day or two. And addicts no longer have to drive down I290, the so called “Heroin Highway,” to get to the west side of Chicago to buy it. Drug dealers will deliver heroin right to your front door.

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LTM speaks at Batavia High School Heroin Forum

By ERIC SCHELKOPF @shawmedia
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Batavia, IL – October 11, 2014 - Kane County Coroner Rob Russell had a simple message for those attending Thursday’s Heroin abuse, prevention and community resources seminar at Batavia High School – don’t try Heroin. “Please don’t go down this road,” Russell said. “I don’t want to have to tell your loved ones that you are dead.”

Russell was one of several speakers who spoke at the seminar. As Russell noted, Heroin use in Kane County is on the rise.

“In Kane County, we had 27 heroin deaths last year, and 14 so far this year,” he said.

There are people behind the numbers, such as 24-year-old Louie Miceli, one of 43 people in DuPage County who died of Heroin abuse last year.

“Our hope is to reach teens and adults before Heroin does,” said Kristen Gutierrez, Executive Director of LTM Heroin Awareness and Support Foundation and Miceli’s older sister. “He had his whole life in front of him and Heroin stole it away.”

She told those in the audience to watch for warning signs.

“Prescription drug abuse is a gateway to Heroin,” Gutierrez said. “Addiction is a disease and the addiction is progressive.”

She said those kids experimenting with Heroin don’t know that Heroin is “so deadly and dangerous.”

As Mike Moran, executive director of Aurora-based Breaking Free drug counseling services explained, Heroin is an opiate that brings the brain pleasure.

“All of our brains have pleasure centers,” he said. “There are certain substances that activate pleasure centers in our brains.”

And Heroin is highly addictive, Moran said.

“Heroin is extremely effective in hijacking the brain,” he said. “You no longer have the choice of using or not using.”

Fortunately, there is hope, said recovering Heroin addict Richard Hertz.

“I’ve been six years and six months free from Heroin,” Hertz told the audience. “You can be stronger than it and you can prevent it. We all want to stop this addiction from starting in the first place.”

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