Adventist GlenOaks Hospital takes part in Feb. 26 heroin forum
Glendale Heights – As DuPage County faces a 20 percent increase in the number of heroin deaths last year, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital has agreed to participate in a Feb. 26 forum to help raise awareness of the growing problem.
The free Heroin Awareness Forum will take place from 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26 at the Glendale Heights Civic Center, 300 Civic Center Plaza. The forum will take place just weeks following the high-profile death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. Media outlets have reported the actor died of a suspected drug overdose.
Adventist GlenOaks Hospital Emergency Department Manager Jill Pateros, RN, will be a member of the panel presenting information that evening. She will speak on Chicago-area trends in heroin use and treatment.
One of the newest developments in DuPage County related to heroin is that police officers, many times the first responders when a person overdoses on heroin, are now carrying Narcan, a drug used to reverse an overdose.
“It used to be that there were specific age groups where you would primarily see heroin use,” Pateros said. “Usually it was people in their late teens or early 20s. Now it’s across the board, with people into their 40s and early 50s. That’s new for this region.”
Pateros will also discuss the steps hospitals must take to save a person who has overdosed on heroin, which can include the use of Narcan and, if a person’s heart rate or respiration has begun to slow, advanced life saving measures.
“Heroin is a huge issue and it’s not going away,” Pateros said. “All it can take is a one-time use to get you hooked, so it’s important for parents to know what signs to look out for in their children.”
Also on the panel will be Angelica Selvaggio of the LTM Heroin Awareness Foundation; heroin addiction survivor Nick Gore; Felicia Miceli, the mother of a heroin victim; DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin; DuPage County Coroner Dr. Richard Jorgensen; and Mark Piccoli, director of the DuPage Metropolitan Enforcement Group.
Throughout DuPage County in 2013, there were 46 deaths related to heroin use, said Tanya Macko, community outreach specialist with the Glendale Heights Police Department. That is an increase over the 38 heroin-related deaths reported in 2012 and the 23 deaths in 2011, according to the DuPage Coalition Against Heroin.
Heroin is not only becoming more pure, but also less expensive, Macko said. This is the first time the village has hosted a forum addressing heroin use.
“We want people to understand, it is in the schools, it is in the county with easy access, and they need to keep an eye on their children,” Macko said.
Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit www.keepingyouwell.com.
Physicians on the medical staff of Adventist Midwest Health Hospitals are independent contractors, and are not agents of the hospitals.
Media contact: Chris LaFortune, public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health, email@example.com; (630) 856-2354.