Treatment and Life Saving Results of County Drug Effort

From the Office of McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Patrick Kenneally:


The McHenry County Substance Abuse Coalition is proud to announce that since May 1, 2017 nearly all police department in the County have joined in the effort to combat addiction in McHenry County.

“Our officers get real satisfaction in helping those suffering from the disease of addiction by getting them into treatment. They do not enjoy seeing anyone in a downward spiral.

“They do not see the benefit in having to arrest them time and time again.

“The officers believe the Program gives them a real opportunity to make an impact on individual lives and the criminal justice cycle,”

said Tom Walsh, McHenry Police Department Deputy Chief.

A Way Out – McHenry County was developed to create additional treatment access points, reduce crime, reduce substance-related harms, and re-frame the role law enforcement plays in community safety. Through the Program, people seeking help for their substance use can go to one of the police entry points and request help.

The police work with Centegra Health System to find appropriate treatment for the individual.

New Directions Addiction Recovery Services provides transportation and recovery support.

The McHenry County Mental Health Board supports the Program with individual assistance to accessing appropriate insurance or funding sources if needed. Substance use is a public health problem, and this program addresses it as such.

The current participating police departments have helped 127 individuals access treatment since A Way Out – McHenry County’s inception on May 1, 2017 through April 30, 2018.

Residential and outpatient treatment providers are:

  • Rosecrance,
  • Gateway Lake Villa,
  • Centegra Behavioral Health,
  • Chicago Behavioral Health Hospital,
  • Haymarket and
  • Lutheran Social Services Illinois.

Recently we are excited to begin a treatment partnership with Lake Behavioral Hospital and expand our ability to serve residential treatment needs.

Approximately, 58% of A Way Out’s total placement is to inpatient treatment programs including detox, clinical residential settings, inpatient behavioral health and sober living homes.

An additional 22% were placed with out-patient treatment services.

The average age of the participant is 36.3 years old.

There were 87 male and 40 female participants.

Alcohol, opiates (heroin and prescription medications), and cocaine were the most common drugs being used.

In November, A Way Out added a navigator to the Program due to noted difficulty finding residential clinical treatment.

Individuals in this situation were sent back to the community with resources but many returned through the program at a later date.

The goal of the navigator is to remain in touch with individuals from entry point at Centegra Health System until they are reconnected to the McHenry County recovery community.

“I really appreciate that somebody takes time to check in with me.

“I don’t always have that support from anybody.

“I am not sure I could have made the connections on my own to work on all of this,”

said a recent A Way Out client.

Since adding the navigator position the Program has not seen repeated use of the Program and placements to appropriate treatment have been achieved at later dates.

The McHenry County Substance Abuse Coalition is committed to developing, implementing, evaluating and sustaining a multi-strategy county-wide effort to prevent drug abuse, addiction, overdose, and death.

In addition to the A Way Out Program, the McHenry County Substance Abuse Coalition has launched other programs to help support citizens impacted by addiction.

Alden-Hebron School District book cover.

The Police Naloxone Program has saved 51 lives since August 15, 2015.

The McHenry County Substance Abuse Coalition has collaborated with community leaders to bring prevention education information to professional, parents and students.

Since January 2018, a total of sixteen addiction prevention and education programs have been conducted across McHenry County.

In addition, intensive addiction education at two local middle schools led to the students publishing books about drug awareness, education, prevention, and addiction treatment.

For more information regarding the A Way Out – McHenry County Program or any of the activities of the McHenry County Substance Abuse Coalition, please visit, or contact Laura Crain, 815-334-4048,


Treatment and Life Saving Results of County Drug Effort — 4 Comments

  1. Why isn’t the southern border sealed.

    Many of these tax-payer funded ‘clients’ wouldn’t have existed in the first place and some of them would have been productive citizens.

    Why are our leaders so stupid?

  2. This is more then just illegal drugs, we have an opioid crisis and its starts with prescription pain killers.

    Its about time common sense legislation based on these real world issues.

    This is not a Democrat vs Republican matter keep the politics out of it and get these people on track to get their lives back together and being productive Americans.

  3. Has anyone compared this to the way in program? The one where if you knew the opioid deceased guy you get prison time?

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