Central Illinois is no exception when it comes to seeing the impact of the opioid-heroin epidemic. Peoria Police Chief Jerry Mitchell says the leading cause of deaths in the city this year is from overdose of opioids.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price was at a Quincy health facility earlier Thursday talking about options for fighting the opioid epidemic.
"It really puts into focus the fact that addiction is a disease and if we could truly as a nation identify a vaccine for addiction wouldn't that be an exciting prospect and such a great help to our fellow citizens," Price said.
Peoria Police Chief Jerry Mitchell says murder charges can be more challenging to enforce.
"It's not necessarily classified as a homicide but it you can put it back towards the intent was to do harm to that person by distributing that makes a difference." Mitchell said.
Two years ago Peoria Police began carrying narcan kits in their patrol cars to use on overdose patients. The kits have proven successful in preventing deaths from heroin or opioid use.