‘Parents are just forgotten’: Carol Stream’s ‘Johnfest’ remembering those who’ve suffered from opioid addiction

CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois will get $760 million from settlements with major prescription opioid distributors.

The state announced most of it will go to prevention and recovery efforts over the next 18 years. CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas introduces us to a suburban woman who knows the dangers of drugs all too well.

Kathy Zander wishes she didn’t have to prepare this event. She wishes her son John were still here.

But each year, she organizes a motorcycle ride and concert in the western suburbs to remember John and hundreds of others who died from opioids.

“My son made a choice to snort cocaine and his best friend had spiked it with fentanyl.”

And some of the other people of the group will remember here Saturday were addicted to prescription drugs. Many of them left behind loved ones who are now struggling to cope.

“We’ve had parents that have committed suicide, parents that are full-blown alcoholics from that, and its like the parents are just forgotten.”

“Accountability is finally arriving.”

gov. JB Pritzker plans to sign an executive order to form an Office of Opioid Settlement Administration. The office will oversee the spending of the $760 million paid out by pharmaceutical companies.

“The majority of the settlement funds will be used to support prevention and recovery from opioid addiction,” according to Grace Hou, Secretary, Illinois Department of Human Services.”

Zander said the state should provide funding specifically for families coping with the loss of loved ones.

“A mom that needs counseling. A dad that’s gonna commit suicide. A dad that’s drinking a handle a day, something like that.”

She’d also like to see some money go to law enforcement efforts to crack down on people selling opioids on the streets. Her hope is that it might prevent another broken heart.

The motorcycle ride leaves the Woodstock Harley Davison at 11:00 am Saturday. There will then be a concert at the Carol Stream Town Center from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Enjoy live music, amazing community leaders speaking, and 800+ motorcycle riders this Saturday at My Child’s Life Matters’s Ride for John charity race! Volunteer to help with raffles, refreshments, and more to support an important cause! https://t.co/5ua3jNI3bI pic.twitter.com/gIVWq9iTK7

— givingdupage (@GivingDuPage) July 26, 2022 Tim McNicholas

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