Opioids | WGLT

Opioids

Photo courtesy of Rickielee Benecke

Rickielee Benecke tried to make the most out of her Christmas holiday by spending one-on-one time with each of her four grandchildren. It was the only way she could get through what would be an excruciatingly gut-wrenching holiday.

Patrick Sison / The Associated Press

Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation aimed at combating fraudulent opioid prescriptions by requiring drug prescribers to use a database containing patient prescription histories.

Carleigh Gray / WGLT

The state of Illinois is launching an all-hours helpline to provide assistance to those impacted by opioid addiction.

Chestnut Health Systems

Chestnut Health Systems has chosen its new CEO.  

Current Chief Clinical Officer Dave Sharar will take over as CEO on Jan. 7 when Russ Hagen retires after several decades with the not-for-profit health agency.

Sharar also has a long tenure at Chestnut. A statement from board Chair Judy Smithson indicates Sharar's experience in many of the lines of business and that the leadership skills he has exhibited over 29 years are valued.

Patrick Sison / AP

As McLean County faces more and more drug overdoses, GLT is looking for your help as we report on the people who’ve been impacted most by the opioid crisis.

WGLT

Here are the top stories we covered this week (Oct. 23-27, 2017) on WGLT and WGLT.org.

Charlie Harris' Legacy

Harris was the former Illinois State University Department of English chair and is being remembered as a terrific scholar. He passed away with a book at his side. Harris was 78. 

Read the story: ISU's Charlie Harris Passes Away 

Local Opioid Deaths Rise

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

Every day, an estimated 140 people die of opioid overdoses in the U.S., according to health officials. President Donald Trump recently declared opioid addiction a public health emergency.

Patrick Sison / The Associated Press

As Netflix is debuting a new documentary this week called "Heroin(e)" about three women battling the opioid epidemic in West Virginia, McLean County Coroner Kathy Davis is waging her own one-woman crusade to help educate the community.

Toby Talbot / The Associated Press

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed an executive order Wednesday assembling a task force to fight the state’s opioid crisis.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

President Donald Trump on Tuesday rejected a plan to declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency, though local health professionals say the federal government can still take specific steps to help addicts get help here in McLean County.