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The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Substance Abuse Prevention Grant workers provide education and support, information, research-based statistics, Illinois Youth Survey and other survey results to highlight the issues facing our youth and families today.

E-Cigarette – FAQS
An electronic cigarette or e-cigarette is a handheld electronic device that vaporizes a flavored liquid. The user inhales the vapor, so e-cigarette use is called vaping. The fluid in the e-cigarette, called e-liquid, is usually made of nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerin and flavorings (

While tobacco use among youth has gone done over the years, e-cigarette use has risen. A recent study showed that students who have used e-cigarettes by the time they start 9th grade are more likely than others to start smoking traditional cigarettes and other smokable tobacco products within the next year (Rigotti, 2015).

2016 Illinois Youth Survey statistics showed the following:

  • 30-day “conventional” cigarette use rates for 12th graders in DuPage County has decreased by 4%
  • 30-day use of all tobacco products including e-cigarettes and hookah by 12th graders in DuPage County has increased by 6%.

This is significant!

Are E-Cigarettes safer than conventional cigarettes?

E-Cigarettes and teens

For more information about e-cigarettes, visit:

For more information about the FDA’s ruling on e-cigarettes, visit:


Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal “street” drug heroin as well as powerful pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and many others.


Heroin is synthesized from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seedpod of the Asian opium poppy plant. Heroin usually appears as a white or brown powder or as a black sticky substance, known as “black tar heroin.”

Heroin can be injected, inhaled by snorting or sniffing, or smoked. All three routes of administration deliver the drug to the brain very rapidly, which contributes to its health risks and to its high risk for addiction. (

Nearly half of young people who inject heroin surveyed in three recent studies reported abusing prescription opioids before starting to use heroin. Some individuals reported taking up heroin because it is cheaper and easier to obtain than prescription opioids (i.e. Oxycontin, Vicodin) (National Institute on Drug Abuse NIH- Drug Facts, October 2014)

Heroin and Heroin combined with Fentanyl (a cancer drug intended for pain) have been linked to overdose deaths. A fentanyl analogue mixture called cartentanyl is 10,000 times stronger than morphine.

Dupage County 2016:

  • 78 – documented opioid-related deaths in Dupage County
  • 36 — as a result of heroin alone
  • 26 –- as a result of a heroin and fentanyl mixture (up 370% from 2015’s 7 deaths)
  • 16 –- as a result of fentanyl alone (up 100% from last years 8 deaths)
  • 53 – percent of increase over 2015 in Dupage County for opioid-related deaths
  • 1 – documented death from cartentanyl
  • Dupage County continues to have a problem with legal and illegal opioids      (Dupage County Coroner Richard Jorgenson- “This is what America’s Opioid Epidemic Looks Like in Dupage County, Anicka Slachta, Downers Grove Patch)

Some Tools In Use for Combating the Overdose Crisis

  • Prescription drug take-back programs
  • Overdose reversal drugs (i.e. Narcan & Naxolone)
  • Public education on pain medication dosage
  • Availability/Accessibility reduction
  • “ReUse” & “MisUse” targeting: the public, prescriber(s), pharmacies, insurance companies, schools and community

Overdoses kill more Americans than car crashes or guns

Data reveals how a local problem became a national epidemic

     (The Deadly Crisis: Mapping the spread of America’s drug overdose epidemic, Nadja Popovich-May 2016

How it looked then…1999 (Drug overdose deaths per 100,000 pop.)

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How it looks now… 2014 (Drug overdose deaths per 100,000 pop.)

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*Note: Although heroin is a critical issue in our county right now, alcohol and marijuana remain the #1 and #2 drugs of choice and concern with our local youth (Illinois Youth Survey Dupage County 2016)

*New Illinois Marijuana Law

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