[Shaw Media file photo]
“People believe that having an addiction is a choice,” Ficarello said. “It’s really not. It’s a disease.
“They’re someone’s sons or daughters. Every life is worth trying to save.”
Still, there are some aspects to the epidemic locally that remain challenging.
Will County has 1,060 people for every one behavioral health provider in the county. In the state overall, that ratio is 370-to-1 and nationally, the ratio is 560-to-1.
“We are an under-resourced community,” Burke said. “We’re 200 percent over the national average.”
She added that there are parts of Joliet that are considered resource-deprived areas, meaning there’s a shortage of primary care, dental care and mental health services. Burke said that one of her long-term goals is letting more people know about available services and attracting more services to come into such areas.