In this three-part series, "When Heroin Hits Home," The Herald-News takes a closer look at Will County's rise in heroin overdose deaths, the families scarred by the opioid epidemic and how local and state officials are attracting much-needed attention to the crisis.
Day One takes a look at a New Lenox family's journey through relapse and recovery; Day Two focuses on another family's struggle with the loss of their son as a court case in connection with his death drags on; Day Three will look at Will County's upcoming opiate education forum and the Heroin Crisis Act, a game-changing state law designed to address the epidemic.
The articles will be published here as they appear in print. This page is also home to web exclusive videos and photos compiled for the series.
The cold February night air jolted Ali Moore awake as the car door flew open.
The lobby of Peace Lutheran Church is quiet.
Count yourself lucky if you live in Will County and haven’t been touched by the heroin epidemic.
Kristin Love was 16 when she first tried heroin at a party. She kept her addiction a secret for six years, until a drug bust led to her arrest in a McDonald’s parking lot.
An editorial cartoon comments on heroin's increasing prevalence in the suburbs.
Carol Robinson is reminded every time she walks into the Will County Courthouse of what she lost.
With heroin deaths on the rise, public policy and health officials are turning their attention to a game-changing state law in hopes of painting a clearer picture about the problem’s depth.
Dale Burk, of New Lenox, talks about how difficult it is to recover from heroin addiction. The 30-year-old father relapsed recently, but immediately called his sponsor and plugged himself back into recovery.
Tom Moore, of New Lenox, retells the story of his son, Jake Moore, who made good grades in school and was active in sports as a kid. Jake struggled with substance abuse from a young age. At age 17, he died of a drug-induced heart arrhythmia.
Carol and Bill Robinson, of New Lenox, retell the story of their son, Brandon Robinson, who died from a drug overdose in November 2012. A New Lenox man has been charged with drug-induced homicide in connection with his death.
Julie McCabe-Sterr, drug court coordinator for Will County, and Jim Glasgow, the county's state's attorney, talk about Will County's drug court program. The 18-month-or-longer prison diversion program is designed to break the cycle of addiction.