CHESTER, IL (KFVS) - The Chester, Illinois Police department held a public meeting tonight to educate the public on the opioid and heroin epidemic going on in southern Illinois and around the U.S.
Information was given on the different types of opioid and how it effects the body and how to spot someone that may be using opioid.
Chester Police Chief Ryan Coffey said that Chester mirrors the statistics seen throughout the country with the usage of opioid and overdose calls.
Chief Coffey said that education is a key factor in quelling the epidemic.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health there was almost 2000 opioid overdose deaths in 2016 and that opioid overdose deaths have nearly quadrupled since 2013 in the state.
"Getting this information out will help community members identify folks in need, hopefully have a better understanding about getting out in front of it before it becomes the ultimate cost which is overdose, leading to death," said Chief Ryan Coffey, Chester Police. "The more people who know about opioid, in general, I think the better off we will be."