More treatment, recovery services needed to beat Fentanyl, experts say

Photo credit Joaquin Corbalan/Getty Images

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A drug treatment expert told statehouse reporters Thursday prevention, treatment, and recovery are preferable to incarceration - if Illinois and America are to defeat fentanyl.

“Continuing to penalize people who are using and might be having to transact,” said Chelsea Laliberté Barnes, drawing a distinction between dealers and suppliers / traffickers, “and by pigeonholing people into these buckets, we have continued to perpetuate that fear-based system.”

Laliberte Barnes, chair of the Illinois Harm Reduction and Recovery Coalition, joined lawmakers at a news conference to shed light on the growing problem and the priorities she sees as safe supply programs, treatment and recovery services, and overdose prevention sites.

State Rep. LaShawn Ford (D-Chicago) said it’s easier in his neighborhood to buy fentanyl than it is to buy a loaf of bread, and State Rep. Rita Mayfield (D-Waukegan) said the next wave is the even more powerful carfentanil, which is marketed as an elephant tranquilizer.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Joaquin Corbalan/Getty Images