A northwest suburb is trying out a new way to tackle the opioid crisis, and the program is one of the very first that’s been attempted in the entire nation.
In the past four years, 18 people in Elk Grove Village have been saved by first responders who used the drug Narcan. The medication, designed to reverse an overdose, will soon be available to the public to use to help overdose victims.
The Narcan kids will be placed in 20 locations throughout the village in public spaces. The locations, which have yet to be determined, could potentially include schools, according to officials.
The program has only been introduced in two other cities throughout America, according to officials.
The new program also has other elements to help those who are addicted to opioids. The program, called “Elk Grove Village Cares,” also includes training police officers to deal with addicts, and also will team the village up with addiction treatment centers.
“We’re going to take those drugs, inventory them for destruction, and then we’re going to work with that person to figure out where they are in the addiction process,” Elk Grove Police Chief Chuck Walsh said.
The program will also link those addicts with social workers, and will help streamline resources to help those in need of them.
“It’s time we start showing compassion for people suffering from the disease of addiction,” Mayor Craig Johnson said. “It starts today.”
The village does say that its police officers will enforce laws when it comes to illegal drugs, including making arrests.