Suburban Funeral Home Kicks Off Program Designed To Keep People Alive

Lisa Fielding
August 27, 2018 - 1:28 pm

Glueckert Funeral Home/Facebook


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Glueckert Funeral Home in Arlington Heights is in the business of death, but this week, employees will be working with Live4Lali, an Arlington Heights-based nonprofit that works to prevent substance abuse, to train visitors to keep people alive.

"This week, starting today through Friday, we'll be having training on how to recognize the signs of overdose as well as administer Naloxone," said Jackie Glueckert, Office Manger.

Glueckert said a few years ago, a family who lost a loved one to an overdose held Narcan training during visitation. This got them thinking about how to better prevent overdoses.

"A couple of years back, we did have a family who lost their son to an opioid overdose. They wanted to, even during the visitation time, make others aware of what's going on. So during the visitation, they had Live4Lali come in, did training during the visitation hours of this young man and taught people how to recognize the signs, because some of his friends, people who were going to be in attendance, maybe suffering with the same thing," she said.

Glueckert now stocks two emergency kits of the overdose reversal drug inside their business.

"Because of the amount of overdose families we've been dealing with and the loss of their family members, having it on hand is just part of, possibly the people that may be attending the visitation could be using or could have an overdose here at the funeral home."

Everyone who attends this week's training will not only learn how to administer the overdose reversal drug, they'll walk away with a kit of their own.

"Just like CPR training, hopefully you'll never have to use it, but if you do know how to do it, and you're ever put in that position, you'll possiblity be able to save somebody's life."

Glueckert said they see about one overdose a month. She hopes the training with help decrease those numbers.

"It's not the everyday person that you might think of, who would be overdosing. We see older people. The medium age is between 35-54. It's not the drug dealer on the streets. Those were things that were brought to our attention. They could be walking in the grocery store. It's every day people," she said.

From Aug. 27-31, 2018, advocates from across Illinois will band together to train 2,155 people in overdose prevention and reversal strategies and equip people who need naloxone with a free kit. The Illinois Department of Public Health projects that 2,155 Illinois residents will die from an accidental overdose in 2018.

Glueckert Funeral Home, 1520 N. Arlington Heights Road, will offer #KeepAlive2155 overdose reversal trainings for free Monday through Thursday 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday Aug. 31, 9 a.m.-11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.-6 p.m.

International Overdose Awareness Day is Aug. 31.

"Every person who works at the funeral home has felt this impact so anything we can do make a difference, that's what we're here for. This is preventable. This could happen to any one of us."