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The Peoria Fire Department and the Peoria County Coroner are offering words of community awareness and support in the face of two suspected opioid overdose deaths.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Paramedics in Peoria seemed relieved for the opportunity to talk openly about their experiences responding to overdose calls.

Peoria Police Department

The Peoria Police Department is issuing a ‘buyer beware notice’ to crack cocaine users. A new form of fentanyl laced in rocks of crack is responsible for the deaths of two people Tuesday, contributed to the death for a third, and has one man in critical condition.

Tazewell County Deputies Get Narcan

Oct 13, 2017
Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Tazewell County Deputies are all now carrying Narcan Nasal Spray to counteract opioid overdoses.

Law enforcement in Springfield are benefiting from local public officials' efforts to give them easier access to an opioid overdose antidote.

Detective Mike Eeten / Pekin Police Department

The Pekin Police Department is calling its effort to battle back against opioid overdose a success, at least this time. Pekin Police Tuesday responded to a call where a 33-year-old unresponsive female was turning blue with an abnormal breathing pattern. The responding officer administered Narcan. Police say it was a life saving measure.

Some law enforcement agencies in northern Illinois are finding creative ways to replenish their supplies of a pricey emergency drug that can save the lives of those who overdose. 

A new law makes a drug that counteracts opioid overdose easier to get. But is that enough?

Northlake resident Steve Kamenicky is lucky to be alive.

He’s 58 years old and says he’s used heroin for 46 years, starting at age 12. He has overdosed several times and nearly died, but he survived because of the medication naloxone hydrochloride, also known by the brand name Narcan

PunchingJudy / Flickr/Creative Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Trained pharmacists in Illinois soon will be able to dispense the overdose reversal drug naloxone without a prescription. Regulators announced Monday that a short web-based training program is available to pharmacists who want to help reduce deaths from heroin and painkillers.

The change results from a state law passed last year. The legislation allows pharmacists to dispense naloxone kits to people at risk of overdose, their family members and friends, first responders and school nurses.

Illinois lawmakers' attack on heroin abuse is law despite a partial veto by Gov. Bruce Rauner. 

  DECATUR, Ill. (AP) - Sheriff's deputies in Macon County in central Illinois are learning to save lives by administering a medicine that reverses the effects of heroin and other opioid drugs. The county's patrol units will soon carry life-saving kits to address the growing problem of heroin overdose. The kits are equipped with naloxone, better known by its brand name, Narcan. They were donated by the Mount Zion-based Tyler Yount Foundation.

Narcan is not just for police and first responders anymore. New York and a handful of other states are helping to make the life-saving heroin antidote available to regular folks, hoping to increase the odds it will be there when needed in an emergency. State health officials say New York has trained 10,000 laypeople in the last six months alone, sending them home with a rescue kit containing Narcan and a nasal atomizer used to spray it in an overdose victim's nose.