Naperville, Illinois Mayor Steve Chirico
Steve Chirico serves as the Mayor of Naperville, Illinois. His office submitted these responses to the American Opioid Podcast on 11/3/2019 7:09 AM.
If a resident in your city visited your office and said that he or she had some spare time and wanted to volunteer to help alleviate the opioid crisis, what kinds of activities would you recommend?
Suggest joining one of the many local boards and commissions.
Recently, many overdoses are increasingly due to fentanyl. What can cities do to protect against this newest threat to public health?
Education is always the least expensive and most affective way to prevent deaths by an overdose.
How much support has your city received from federal and state government public health agencies, opioid safety coalitions, elected officials, and nonprofit organizations or foundations?
Naperville’s non-profit safety net is very robust and provides enormous benefits to the community. The city helps to fund these social service agencies with public money, some of which is earmarked specifically for drug and alcohol awareness and prevention.
If you had a magic wand that allowed you to pass any legislation you wanted in order to help alleviate the opioid crisis in your state, what would that legislation look like?
I don’t believe their is a simple answer, but I believe that mental illness is very closely tied to drug and alcohol addiction, so providing more resources to mental illnesses would likely help reduce drug and alcohol addiction and overdoses.
Are there any additional resources your department could use that would help alleviate the crisis in your city?
Naperville is a very resourceful community, but we have limits to our funding sources just like other communities. We have the infrastructure to make a difference, but Limited funding to make the kind of impact we want.
Are there any additional thoughts you would like to share?
I believe we are winning the war. Our overdoses are down considerably and we are getting people into treatment with new ideas and services. Public safety in Naperville understands that we can not arrest our way out of this crises, we need to provide services to help people with mental illnesses and addictions.