Opioids | WGLT

Opioids

Don Knapp
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

McLean County has officially joined thousands of state and local governments that have sued drugmakers and distributors over the opioid epidemic.

 Logan Correctional Center
Seth Perlman / AP

Chestnut Health Systems of Bloomington will be taking part in a national study that aims to curb opioid abuse among recently released prisoners.

Woman standing inside Bone Student Center with international flag in the background
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

McLean County could soon join thousands of other local governments across the country that have sued drugmakers and distributors for their role in the opioid epidemic.

Mary Cullen / WGLT

The McLean County coroner said a nationwide increase in fatal falls isn’t just a sign of old age, it’s a call to take better care of our elders.

Mary Cullen / WGLT

Bloomington-Normal is home to one of the largest and most diverse addiction archives in the U.S.

Daniel Sokulski with his wife
Courtesy

For years, health care providers have treated alcohol and drug addiction like an acute condition: when someone checks into a treatment center, they’re given psychiatric care under close supervision to help them get clean. After treatment, they’re referred to a recovery community like a 12-step program, to help them stay on the right path, and released back into the community.

Oxycodone pills
Mark Lennihan / AP

Drug overdose deaths dropped in McLean County in 2018 after a dramatic rise the year before.

Mary Cullen / WGLT

As the national opioid epidemic continues, representatives from the medical, treatment, and insurance fields met in Bloomington at a roundtable discussion to talk about more collaboration to care for addicts and prevent addiction.

Rauner deposits medicine
Mary Cullen / WGLT

Incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner visited Bloomington-Normal on Tuesday with no pitch regarding his election campaign, just five weeks away from midterms.

PATRICK SISON / AP

Illinois has been awarded a $43.5 million federal grant to fight opioid abuse.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday that the Illinois portion is part of more than $1 billion the agency distributed to all states as part of its five-point opioid strategy.

fentanyl
Rick Bowmer / AP

Medical professionals in Illinois now have to undergo training on how to safely prescribe opioids.

Toby Talbot / AP

Andrew Dewey once had a good job as an assistant manager of a department store. He was married with a son, and had saved a nest egg. All that changed after his doctor began prescribing potent painkillers.

Patrick Sison / AP

New federal data show that Illinois emergency rooms saw a 66 percent increase in opioid overdose visits last year.

Patrick Sison / AP

Here are the top stories we covered this week (Jan. 29 to Feb. 2, 2018) on WGLT and WGLT.org.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

Dr. Ramsin Benyamin views the opioid epidemic almost like he would a patient. If you ask Benyamin how he’d fix the opioid issue—how he’d treat it—he starts with a diagnosis.

Photo courtesy of Rickielee Benecke

Rickielee Benecke tried to make the most out of her Christmas holiday by spending one-on-one time with each of her four grandchildren. It was the only way she could get through what would be an excruciatingly gut-wrenching holiday.

Patrick Sison / AP

Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation aimed at combating fraudulent opioid prescriptions by requiring drug prescribers to use a database containing patient prescription histories.

Carleigh Gray / WGLT

The state of Illinois is launching an all-hours helpline to provide assistance to those impacted by opioid addiction.

Chestnut Health Systems

Chestnut Health Systems has chosen its new CEO.  

Current Chief Clinical Officer Dave Sharar will take over as CEO on Jan. 7 when Russ Hagen retires after several decades with the not-for-profit health agency.

Sharar also has a long tenure at Chestnut. A statement from board Chair Judy Smithson indicates Sharar's experience in many of the lines of business and that the leadership skills he has exhibited over 29 years are valued.

Patrick Sison / AP

As McLean County faces more and more drug overdoses, GLT is looking for your help as we report on the people who’ve been impacted most by the opioid crisis.

WGLT

Here are the top stories we covered this week (Oct. 23-27, 2017) on WGLT and WGLT.org.

Charlie Harris' Legacy

Harris was the former Illinois State University Department of English chair and is being remembered as a terrific scholar. He passed away with a book at his side. Harris was 78. 

Read the story: ISU's Charlie Harris Passes Away 

Local Opioid Deaths Rise

With Local Opioid Deaths Rising, Summit Seeks Solutions

Oct 31, 2017
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

Every day, an estimated 140 people die of opioid overdoses in the U.S., according to health officials. President Donald Trump recently declared opioid addiction a public health emergency.

Patrick Sison / AP

As Netflix is debuting a new documentary this week called "Heroin(e)" about three women battling the opioid epidemic in West Virginia, McLean County Coroner Kathy Davis is waging her own one-woman crusade to help educate the community.

Toby Talbot / The Associated Press

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed an executive order Wednesday assembling a task force to fight the state’s opioid crisis.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

President Donald Trump on Tuesday rejected a plan to declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency, though local health professionals say the federal government can still take specific steps to help addicts get help here in McLean County.