Health Disparities and the Opioid Crisis in Chicago
One cannot turn on the television, pick up a newspaper or browse online without coming across a story about the national opioid crisis. The CDC has estimated that more than 130 people die of an opioid overdose every day, so this is a serious concern for public health that impacts all of us.
Here in Chicago, a death gap exists; life expectancy for West Side residents is up to 16 years less than those living in the Loop just seven CTA train stops away. The root causes for this disparity include lack of access to education, employment and community investment. West Side United is a collaborative of hospitals, community organizations, government and residents aimed at improving health and economic vitality in 10 West Side neighborhoods. This work seeks to impact the 550,000 residents living on the West Side and to reduce the life expectancy gap by 50% by 2030.
This presentation will discuss the history of West Side United, initiatives, goals and stakeholders, while addressing some of the facts and myths surrounding the opioid crisis discussion to ensure you are armed with the most accurate information in order to advocate for changes that will make a real impact in the community.