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Opioid crisis demands plea for help

October 21, 2018 GMT

Human nature makes it hard for many people to ask for help.

It often only happens when they find themselves in desperate situations, and that’s most likely what compelled Kankakee County Coroner Bob Gessner to appeal to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., during the senator’s visit to the area Wednesday.

“Please help us,” Gessner said to Durbin as both participated in a meeting to discuss the opioid crisis and other vital health matters at Presence St. Mary’s Hospital.

Gessner’s plea was connected to the woes opioid abuse have caused locally. There were 56 overdose deaths in Kankakee County last year, and while that number has declined considerably this year, it still has risen above 20 to date.

The help being sought is for increased treatment options. Right now, they are limited to the point that addicts seeking help are frequently placed on waiting lists. As they wait, they all too often continue to abuse drugs or return to using them after managing to wean themselves off for a brief period.

Durbin said a bill meant to combat the opioid epidemic could be forthcoming. Senator, please do everything in your power to advance it. As Gessner said, “please help us.”