Phil Eaton: Illinois can’t arrest, treat or bury its way out of heroin epidemic

Rosecrance President/CEO Philip Eaton was featured in the State Journal-Register this weekend.

Substance-abuse treatment providers were eager to testify at hearings around Illinois last year to inform lawmakers about how we are responding to the current heroin epidemic.

We joined the lineup of witnesses, including law enforcement officers speaking about the heroin distribution network and county coroners reciting grim statistics about overdose deaths.

The hearings poignantly were punctuated by testimony from people who lost loved ones to heroin.

The result of those hearings is a 240-page bill sponsored by Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, and Rep. John Anthony, R-Plainfield.

This bill, which would cost some $25 million to implement in our cash-strapped state, confirms what capacity-challenged treatment centers knew long ago: Illinois can’t arrest, treat or bury its way out of the heroin epidemic. Yet, to this point, that’s where the spotlight has been focused — on who must be put behind bars, put into treatment or put into the obituaries.

Continue reading this article on the State-Journal Register’s website.