Sen. Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford

HILLSIDE – To continue efforts in combating the opioid crisis, Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) partnered with the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative and the Code 3 Association to bring the RALI CARES educational trailer to Hillside last week.

In 2016, there were 1,947 overdose deaths due to opioids in Illinois, according to the Department of Public Health. From 1999 to 2016, opioid related overdose deaths in the state nearly quadrupled.

“The statistics on overdose deaths are glaring and they call for action against the opioid crisis that is currently affecting every part of our state,” Lightford said. “The RALI CARES trailer is a tool to help parents and guardians identify signs of drug usage, which will help save lives.”

The RALI CARES trailer is an interactive experience, set up as a mock teenage bedroom for families to view possible warning signs of drug abuse or use. As attendees walk through the trailer, law enforcement and experts answer questions and teach participants about warning signs, potential areas of concern and how to talk to children about the issue of opioid abuse.

The trailer was designed with the help of former addicts, as well as parents of addicts, who pointed out location and concealing tactics they used while struggling with their addictions. It serves as a helpful guide in prevention and early warning education.

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