Annual Opioid Summit To Be Held In Romeoville

Bernie Tafoya
May 10, 2018 - 9:45 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Anyone wishing to know more about the battle against the opioid epidemic in Illinois is invited Friday to the annual opioid summit in Romeoville.  

The HERO-HELPS Southwest Coalition Opioid Summit starts at 7:30 a.m. at the Edward Hospital Athletic and Event Center. 

Dr. Kathleen Burke, the director of Substance Use Initiatives for Will County, said that, besides government and health expert speakers, there’ll be a resource fair where people can be connected with addiction help for themselves or people they care about. 

Dr. Burke will also train people on administering life-saving Narcan, an opioid antidote.

“When people get the Narcan training, they get one box of Narcan that has two doses of Narcan in it, which is really important for folks who know people who may overdose,” she said.

Also at the summit will be the Hidden in Plain Sight trailer. It features a mock bedroom to educate parents on places young people might try to hide their drugs.

Dr. Burke said that among the speakers will be Laura Porter who will talk about how adverse childhood experiences like witnessing domestic abuse or having a parent leave in a divorce can lead to drug addictions.

“What we’re finding is that, 70 percent of those who suffer from a substance abuse disorder, have had four or more of those adverse childhood experiences," Burke said. “Those kinds of experiences influence the way the brain develops.”

Other speakers include Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, Illinois Public Health Department Director Dr. Nirav Shah and Maria Bruni of the Illinois Department of Human Resources.

The event is free, open to the public, and pre-registration is not required.