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Ask The Times: Overdose calls

Q. Did The Times ever get a definitive number on overdose calls in Streator and Ottawa over a two-week period in late February, early March?

A. The Streator Fire Department responded to 15 overdose calls during that recent two-week period and Ottawa three. "It is important to remember that opioid addiction is a disease and a nationwide epidemic. It is not limited to any community or demographic," said Streator Fire Chief Gary Bird. "Addiction doesn't discriminate and the effects are devastating. The only way to combat this crisis is through prevention, education and intervention." Bird said that while he understood the need to quantify the problem, "we feel one overdose is too many." Residents are urged to call 911 if they suspect someone has overdosed. Dusty Roads is a local group that seeks rehabilitation for those with addiction. Anyone in need of Dusty Roads assistance can call 815-510-0015.
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