Illegal drug use, particularly heroin use, continues to increase throughout DuPage County, but NOT in the middle and high school aged population in Districts 203 and 204. In fact, it is the opposite.
We have data from the Illinois Youth Survey dating back to 2003. Their Spring 2016 results shows that 81% of high school students had not had a drink in the past 30 days, 89% had not smoked marijuana in the past 30 days, 98% had not used over the counter medication for a non-medical reason in the past year, 97% had never used heroin.
In the past 14 years, the data for Naperville students has improved significantly, as much as by 20%. Take a look at the data and compare it to the rest of DuPage County and to the rest of Illinois. It’s important to look at data, and not rely on anecdotal information or a few headline-grabbing incidents. We have had more heroin deaths and prescription drug overdoses and deaths, but they are for prescription drugs and also in an older population, sometimes a much older population.
To support positive results such as these, the city administers about $440,000 in CDBG grants (from federal funds) and $500,000 in social service grants to non-profits, a substantial portion of which goes to combat drug and alcohol abuse and mental health issues. The city also supports anti-drug efforts through its prescription drug drop boxes at fire stations and the police station, and the police department’s coordination with school districts and social service agencies.
In the case of issues that occur in public places because of over-serving, it’s incumbent on the city to make sure our policies and ordinances discourage dangerous behavior from restaurant and bar patrons, and to encourage policies (such as those outlined in the Safe Celebrating guidelines promoted by the Restaurant Association and Naper Development Partnership) that prevent incidents related to alcohol consumption.