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Heroin Abuse Continues To Rip Apart Metro East Families

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GRANITE CITY, Ill. (KMOX) –  While some treatment centers in the Metro East area have fewer people seeking help for heroin addiction, other counselors continue to be overwhelmed.

Susan Taylor with Chestnut Health Systems in Illinois says the epidemic spiked last summer, and there’s been no let up.

A major obstacle to getting people help, she tells KMOX News, is resources.

“There’s no state funding for detox, there’s also no state funding for medication-assisted treatment,” Taylor says. “So for people with means, they can get those services. For people without means and no insurance, they can’t get those services.”

Taylor says one-third of all the patients seeking treatment at Chestnut are battling addiction to heroin and other opiates.

But for clients referred to the system by the women’s drug court, that rate skyrockets to 80%.

“These are also, unfortunately, right at the age when they start having their children,” Taylor points out. “So this is also impacting very young children.”

Due to heroin’s devastating toll on families, Chestnut has launched a support network for relatives.

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