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Heroin abuse summit in Romeoville to include special recognition of families

4/22/2014, 11:24 p.m.
In an effort to acknowledge the importance of family involvement in the recovery process, a formal recognition ceremony of local ...

In an effort to acknowledge the importance of family involvement in the recovery process, a formal recognition ceremony of local family groups will be part of the 2014 Hero Helps Community Forum slated for Sat. May 17, at the Romeoville Athletic and Event Center.

“The support of family is critical in the recovery of a heroin addict,” said Paul Lauridsen, co-chair of the event. “Many of these family members have joined together to find both support from one another and strength to spread the message of hope for recovery.”

The HERO (Heroin Epidemic Relief Organization) Foundation was started by John Roberts and Bryan Kirk after both men lost their sons to heroin overdose. The group has been influential in raising the awareness of the heroin epidemic and helping move legislation such as the Good Samaritan Act. The HERO Foundation will be part of this year’s summit.

“We continue to work to encourage families trying to support a loved one who is addicted to heroin and comfort to families who have lost a loved one to heroin,” Roberts said.

Kathleen Burke, president of Strategic Prevention, said it is important to recognize these grassroots organization that many times are started by parents with addicted children.

“Our goal is to bring these groups together in hopes of finding ways they can work together and share resources,” Burke said. “There are many families who are hurting and feel alone in dealing with a loved one’s addiction. We want to recognize the strength of these groups who are finding their own voice.”

Any family support group is encouraged to attend the May 17 event. In order to be part of the roll call, a group representative should contact Burke at burkekathleen73@gmail.com.

To register for this free summit or for more information, visit

www.herohelpsevent.com.