Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Orland Fire hosts community meeting on increasing Heroin use and substance abuse

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Orland Fire hosts community meeting on increasing Heroin use and substance abuse

More than 100 parents and their children attended an informational meeting hosted by the Orland Fire Protection District to address the issue of increasing heroin use and substance abuse held Tuesday (July 15, 2014) at the Fire District headquarters on 151st Street.

Speakers included students at Sandburg High school and former students who have excelled in athletics, including a recent draft to the Denver Broncos and an Olympic Silver Medalist, and parents of two young people who were involved in drug and alcohol abuse.

The meeting was led by OFPD Chief Ken Brucki and Battalion Chief Michael Schofield, and attracted support from members of the Orland Fire Protection District Board including Board President Jim Hickey, and Trustees Chris Evoy and Jayne Schirmacher. Also attending to show support for the need for heightened public awareness of the substance abuse problems locally were  government officials including  Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth "Liz" Doody Gorman and Village of Orland Park Trustee Dan Calandriello.

"I think it is very important that we come together as a community and speak about these issues because they are important to our families and our children. We don't want to pretend they don't exist and sweep them under the rug," Gorman said.

Speakers included Carl Sandburg graduates Michael Schofield who was a 3rd round draft pick to the Denver Broncos football team this year, and Olympic U.S. Hockey Team Silver Medalist Kendal Coyne. Schofield and Coyne spoke about how drug abuse could have impacted their career goals and prevented them from attaining their achievements.

Patrick Brucki, a standout athlete who currently attends Sandburg spoke about life in high school where officials said drug and substance abuse is a problem.

Two parents painfully detailed how drug and substance abuse impacted their lives. Tami O'Brien spoke about her son, a Chicago policeman who was involved in a DUI that took two lives. Tami currently works with AAIM (Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists). Brian Kirk spoke about the battle to save his son who died from heroin use.

Here's the video of the public community program:

Here is a link to a story broadcast about the meeting by WBBM TV (CBS) Tuesday night.

Click here.