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The West Side Heroin/Opioid Task Force


Find information on policies, training, and source material. 


Meet the outreach team and leadership of the Task Force.


Watch videos, view photos, and listen to the podcast.


Read about the Task Force in the news.

The West Side Heroin/Opioid Task Force Overview:

Convened in 2016 by State Representative La Shawn K. Ford, IL-8, and coordinated by Prevention Partnership since July 2019, the Task Force brings together community- based agencies (CBO), governmental entities, health care providers and persons with lived experience to confront the epidemic of opioid overdoses and resultant deaths in Chicago’s West Side communities. A key element of the project to date has been the project’s communications plan which is aligned with best practices for public health communications as described by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). 


Goal:  Stronger mental and physical health


  • Raise awareness of illegal drug use

  • Increase supportive services for persons who use drugs

  • Increase overdose response

  • Integrate mental health and substance use disorder treatment and recovery

  • Implement a coordinated collaborative for better outcomes




What We've Been Able to Accomplish Together!  

A partial and ever-growing list! (January 2022)

  • Approx. 1,000 less EMS calls for Overdose in the 1st half of 2021 compared to 2020 (CDPH)

  • Direct Intervention Outreach Team trained over 3,300 individuals and distributed twice as many doses of naloxone/Narcan, and TF partners 1,000s more!

  • Continuously improving Warm Hand-off processes from street to treatment to recovery

  • Additional Vans for MAR Induction, OEND, first-aid, testing and vaccinations

  • Fentanyl Work Group – focused on building a cohesive response to testing and referral practices

  • Legislative Committee:  Advocate for HB 110 – Overdose Prevention Sites

  • Collaboration with CDPH:

    • ​Monthly provider meetings, OD maps, Narcan in libraries, Harm Reduction vending machines, survey of pharmacies

  • Collaboration with IDHS/SUPR:

    • ​Task Force Funding!, Access Narcan/DOPP, Practice Recommendations for Drug Testing and Fentanyl,  Support for Overdose Prevention Sites

  • Task Force resource events: International Overdose Awareness Day and December 8 at AnB, 817 S. Pulaski

  • Coverage in Austin Voice, Austin Weekly, Block Club Chicago, WTTW, NPR, Chicago Sun-Times, WVON, CAN-TV


Check out the Task Force's recent update in the Sept 2022 Prevention Partnership newsletter! 

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