Lawmakers Create Heroin Task ForcePosted:
Springfield - Heroin, it has become enemy number one for many lawmakers statewide, and across the aisle.
Lawmakers have said that the number of heroin related deaths are at epidemic proportions all around the state.
"We cannot continue to allow hundreds of people to die without us responding to it in someway," said Skokie state representative Lou Lang.
Glen Carbon state representative Dwight Kay added,"within the last year, we've had 56 deaths."
"In 2002, we had two deaths. Last year, we had about 124 people die with drug overdoses. I believe 54 of them were due to heroin alone," said Loves Park state representative John Cabello.
The growing heroin problem is much more than just a law enforcement concern, it's also a lawmaker concern, so much that 37 members of the General Assembly have signed up to be a part of the a heroin task force, calling this an epidemic for the state, and they all say they're ready to battle this head on.
"We have to go way beyond putting lawbreakers in jail, we have to get into people take heroin," said Lang.
Kay added,"the younger people have become more exposed to this in the last 10 to 15 years, and they've sort of grown into this heroin epidemic."
"We need to do a lot more on educating our kids. It seems as though prescription drugs are the gateway into heroin," said Cabello.
A problem the state hopes to contain before it gets worse.