CHICAGO – Following a Cook County Medical Examiner’s report that confirmed opioid deaths in Cook County are at an all-time high, state Rep. La Shawn K. Ford, D-Chicago, will join West Side leaders for a press conference Friday to discuss steps being taken in the community – including the installation of Naloxone newsstand dispensers and support for an overdose prevention site program.

Friday’s press conference will take place at noon at the southwest corner of W. Van Buren St. (4000 block) and S. Pulaski Rd. at noon.

“The report issued this week by the medical examiner is devastating,” Ford said. “The opioid crisis is tearing families and neighborhoods apart, and we have to come together on real solutions that assist people in accessing the help they need. There are a lot of dedicated individuals in our community doing everything they can to help, but they need additional resources and support.”

Cook County opioid deaths have risen from 676 in 2015 to 2,000 in 2022, reflecting an increase being felt nationwide.

At the press conference, members of the West Side Heroin/Opioid Task Force will explain their work to deliver harm reduction services, including naloxone distribution, fentanyl and xylazine test strips, medicine-assisted treatment, detox and stabilization. An example of a Naloxone newsstand dispenser will be on site, and Ford will discuss legislative efforts in Springfield.

“Now more than ever, it’s clear that we need to pass House Bill 2 and pursue the creation of overdose prevention sites,” Ford said. “I’m proud to join advocates as we work to create a space that will provide individuals a safe, hygienic location to consume pre-obtained drugs and receive recovery support services. Overdose prevention sites can save lives, and we shouldn’t delay.”

For more information, please contact


Rep. La Shawn FordRep. La Shawn Ford

8th District

Springfield Office:
239-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL   62706
(217) 782-5962
(217) 557-4502 FAX

Chicago Office:
5051 W Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60651
(773) 750-0866