First-Hand Views on Drug-Related Death, Addiction at Seminar Tonight
Orland Fire Battalion Chief Mike Schofield is holding a “Blink of an Eye” program where a 911 tape from a heroin overdose will be played, stories from people who lost loved ones will be told and other from-the-source information will be offered.
Orland Fire Battalion Chief Mike Schofield was surprised himself when he started encountering the rise in heroin use among teens and young adults in Homer Glen and Orland Park.
The shock only grew when people started dying from overdoses, and similar reports came from nearby towns.
“I had no clue we had an issue until we had multiple fatalities,” said Schofield, during an interview in November 2011. “It takes an average of six stays in rehab to kick heroin. But before that can even happen, parents miss it because these kids are functioning. They are getting good grades, and still showing up for classes.”
He decided to start showing people what he saw as a firefighter and emergency medical technician, instead of just telling.
On Wednesday night, Schofield will put on the “In the Blink of An Eye” seminar, geared to educate people through the harsh reality of drug abuse, overdosing and other consequences.
The seminar will be held 7 p.m. at the Orland Fire Administration Building, 9790 W. 151st Street.
A recording of a 911 call for a heroin overdose will be played, and a few speakers will share their tales, including Tammy O’Brien. Tammy’s son, a former Chicago police officer, is now incarcerated for causing an accident while driving drunk that took lives of two Carl Sandburg High School students.
Brian Kirk will also share how he found his son shortly after he died from an overdose.
“We hope to get parents to attend. It is a very powerful message. There is no stereotype for a heroin addict,” Schofield said in a news release. “We want to make parents aware that they can make a difference in the lives of their children. It’s not too late. The children and parents need to recognize the consequences of their mistakes. Bad things do happen to good kids. Heroin is a real problem in the suburbs. It’s impacting kids with straight As. There is no stereotype for a heroin addict.”
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