Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0883
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Full Text of HR0883  98th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, The State of Illinois finds itself in the vortex
3of a heroin crisis, the signs of which can be found throughout
4the State; and
5    WHEREAS, The number of heroin-related deaths in Chicago's
6collar counties has reached record-breaking levels in recent
7years; according to the Lake County Coroner's Office, heroin
8contributed to the deaths of 48 people in Lake County in 2012,
9up from 42 in 2011; DuPage County reported a record 46
10heroin-related deaths in 2013; in suburban Riverside, a couple
11allegedly were on a heroin binge and found unconscious in an
12automobile stopped on a railroad crossing; in Will County in
132012, the 53 heroin deaths surpassed the 34 car crash deaths as
14the leading cause of accidental deaths for the first time since
15the Will County Coroner's Office began tracking heroin-related
16fatalities in 1999; in downstate Madison County, 3 victims of
17heroin overdoses were found within one 5-hour period; and
18    WHEREAS, Illinois is not alone in its struggle with the
19heroin crisis; according to the White House Office of National
20Drug Control Policy, there was a 21% increase in fatal heroin
21overdoses nationwide from 2006 to 2010; Governor Peter Shumlin
22of Vermont, where heroin addiction is up 770% since 2000,
23devoted most of his recent State of the State address to his



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1state's heroin epidemic; and
2    WHEREAS, The recent arrest of Mexican drug lord Joaquin
3Guzman was a welcome development in the battle against heroin;
4his Sinaloa drug cartel is allegedly responsible for the
5majority of heroin coming into the Chicago region; however, the
6money to be made by drug traffickers remains too huge for the
7heroin trade to be stopped by Guzman's arrest; and
8    WHEREAS, Law enforcement alone cannot end the heroin
9scourge; State-funding for prevention has been reduced by 88%
10and treatment by 42% over the past 6 years - during which time
11the heroin crisis has escalated across the State; the current
12system of relying on criminal penalties is failing to solve the
13problem; and
14    WHEREAS, Oftentimes, addiction to prescription opiates
15precedes heroin use; and heroin is much cheaper and easier to
16obtain than drugs such as Oxycontin and Vicodin; and
17    WHEREAS, Drug cartels are flooding the Chicago market with
18relatively inexpensive heroin, which is often cheaper and
19easier to obtain than a six-pack of beer; it can be smoked or
20snorted, thus decreasing the stigma of the drug, especially
21with teenagers; fatalities are escalating partly because some
22heroin is now laced with a high-boosting and hazardous



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1substance, Fentanyl; and
2    WHEREAS, Family, friends, loved ones, teens, and young
3adults, whether they are in cities, the suburbs, or rural
4communities, are all at an increased risk of heroin overdose;
5therefore, be it
8we declare a Heroin State of Emergency in Illinois; and be it
10    RESOLVED, That we direct the House Task Force on Heroin
11Crisis to develop a comprehensive, bold, and durable package of
12legislative proposals to combat the Illinois heroin crisis; and
13be it further
14    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
15presented to Governor Pat Quinn, Department of Human Services
16Secretary Michelle Saddler, House Speaker Michael Madigan,
17Senate President John Cullerton, and Attorney General Lisa