Task force aims to cut down opioid deaths

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DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) – An event in Decatur looked to draw attention to a growing drug abuse problem.

The Opioid Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force, created by Gov. Bruce Rauner and led by Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti, met with locals Wednesday afternoon at the Macon County Office Building to talk about how to beat opioid abuse disorder. Sanguinetti’s office says the disorder killed 1,889 Illinoisans in 2016.

Decatur is the fourth stop of the task force’s tour, which is meant to help put the Illinois Opioid Action Plan to use. The plan’s goal is to cut opioid-related deaths by one-third in three years.

“We really need our storefronts to be willing with synthetic drugs and be willing to do their part and say no, we won’t sell these are our place,” said Rep. Sue Scherer. “We’re not giving up, we’re going to get this. It won’t happen overnight, (but) we’re not going to give up.”

People directly affected by the opioid issue, including people who suffer from it themselves, had the chance to speak up at the task force meeting. First responders and community leaders also took part.

The task force has already stopped in Chicago, Champaign and Mount Vernon in the last month.

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