The opioid epidemic is a public health disaster. The combination of The Great Recession, the pharmaceutical marketing industry, and black-tar heroin gangs has devastated Middle America. Learn how Mike Nerheim, our State’s Attorney, is tackling this crisis with the Lake County Opioid Initiative. Join us as we discuss his Opioid Initiative on Everyday Law TV!
Lake County State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim is serving his second term as Lake County’s top law enforcement officer. The State’s Attorney prosecutes criminal cases on behalf of the county and also represents Lake County in civil disputes. One issue that deeply concerns Nerheim and has fueled his run for this office is the opioid epidemic in Lake County and across the country.
Nerheim, who has worked on both sides of criminal law as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney, noticed the rise of the opioid epidemic in the early 2000s. Opioid addiction affects families of all socioeconomic backgrounds. As State’s Attorney, Nerheim wanted to take this issue on as he saw the devastation it brought to the county. More people die of opioid-related causes than die from car accidents or guns. He wanted to utilize his office to bring people together to help solve this problem.
Nerheim and others from a wide variety of backgrounds came together to form the Lake County Opioid Initiative (LCOI.org). The Initiative is a collection of people from law enforcement, faith-based organizations, medical providers, politicians, corporations and those in recovery and with an interest in the issue. Together, they have worked on legislation and ways fight the stranglehold of opioid addiction.
The Initiative’s mission is three-fold: prevention, reduction of harm and treatment. Prevention is based in education starting from grade school and continuing for all areas of the community including parents and providers. Harm reduction is a short-term solution for overdoses; in this case being the availability of naloxone (overdose antidote) among law enforcement to treat overdoses at the scene, instead of waiting for medical assistance. Long-term treatment is an important part of the solution and the Initiative has been working on increasing the availability of treatment so that anyone who wants treatment can get treatment.
Robert Monahan, Esq. is a lawyer in Gurnee, IL with his own practice in personal injury. He has a radio show on Thursday nights at 7 pm, called “Everyday Law,” on WRLR 98.3 FM, where he tries to demystify the law for the ordinary person. “Everyday Law” can be downloaded as a podcast from iTunes or other various podcatchers. His two websites are www.monahanfirm.com and www.gurneepersonalinjuryattorney.com. He also has two Facebook pages – “Robert A. Monahan, Esq.” and “Everyday Law.”