Proposed bills target heroin abuse in suburb

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Republican lawmakers are introducing a series of bills to address heroin abuse and related crimes in the suburbs.

It’s a drug that took 46 lives in DuPage County last year.

Lead by representative Dennis Reboletti, Republican state lawmakers and local officials from DuPage County proposed state laws and local initiatives designed to reduce addiction and raise awareness about heroin. Nine of the people who lost their lives to the drug in the county last year were 21-years old or younger.

The proposals include:

  • Earmarking a portion of the 7% medical marijuana tax to fund a pilot youth addiction program in DuPage.
  • Mandating all county health departments report drug overdoses to the state
  • Increasing the penalties for people who get prescription pain killers from doctors under false pretenses, also known as “doctor shopping”.

The Republican group also wants to see the Illinois Street Fang RICO Act extended five years past its current expiration date of 2017.

DuPage County state’s attorney Bob Verlin says the RICO law lead to 31 heroin related arrests in August and helps law enforcement stop higher level traffickers.

The Republican group would also like to a forfeiture law added to the Illinois street gang RICO Act where a portion of proceeds taken from convicted drug dealers would be used in drug treatment and drug prevention efforts in DuPage County.

Representative Reboletti says he expects the package of anti-heroin proposals to be considered in Springfield sometime in mid-March.

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