You may have read recent news stories regarding the ever-rising number of heroin overdose deaths in the Chicago area. DuPage County has already matched the total number of deaths from 2012 (you know Du Page county, it’s that one a stone’s throw from our own village. Right over there.)
It is here. We cannot deny it. As parents and community members, we cannot pretend that this devastating drug has not reached our borders. We cannot lie to ourselves anymore that “our kids” would never do heroin. The stigma typically associated with the drug no longer exists — long gone are the days when heroin addicts were easily spotted by the marks on their arms. Heroin can be snorted or inhaled, and it is cheap and easily available.
Have you talked to your kids about heroin?
Yes? Great. Do it again.
No? Do it now, and then do it again.
Visit the special section on heroin on the Robert Crown Center website (www.heroin.robertcrown.org/HeroinEducation/index.html) for helpful information about how to talk to kids and young adults about the dangers of heroin, as well as how to recognize the signs of heroin use.
Talk to your neighbors and friends, your fellow parents. Bring it up at Bunco. Talk about it over cards with your buddies. Tell as many people as you can. We cannot continue to act like heroin use in our communities is some dirty little secret that will go away if ignored. It will not. If we continue to pretend like it’s not happening, kids will continue to die.
The truth is that there are no casual heroin users, but there are a lot of dead heroin users.
OK, I’ll stop with the heavy stuff.
It’s fall festival time! The Western Springs Business Association once again ushers in the new season with the Fall Festival from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4.
If you picked up a free pumpkin on Sept. 28, bring it, fully decorated to the festival (decorate the outside of the pumpkin, but please don’t cut it! Decorated pumpkins will be put on display in the windows of WSBA member businesses, and we all know what happens to carved pumpkins after a week or two!). There will be small pumpkins available for decorating.
It’s time to register for the Run for Kelli benefitting the Kelli Joy O’Laughlin Memorial Fund. The event is a 3-mile run and/or 1-mile walk and takes place on Saturday, Nov. 16 at Lyons Township High School South Campus.
The event will feature a DJ, prizes and a raffle. There will be two 3-mile runs, starting at 8 a.m. and then again at 8:45 a.m. The 1-mile walk starts at 9:30 a.m. Registration is required. There will also be a fun 50-yard dash for younger kids that will begin after the 1-mile walk, and registration is not required.
There are lots of fun raffle prizes, including Bulls tickets, Kane County Cougars tickets (and throw out the first pitch of the game!), hotel stays and gift certificates.
Readers can contact Viki Gonia by leaving a message at (312) 880-8550 or by sending an email to email@example.com. Follow Viki on Twitter @vikibabbles.