Highland Park family donates $1M for new substance abuse center

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Highland Park family donated $1 million in hopes that their contribution will help other young people struggling with substance abuse fight their addiction.

Jordan Filler died of a heroin overdose, and in response his parents made their donation to fund a truly groundbreaking program at Lurie Children's Hospital to treat teens and young adults in need. The program allows them to be treated in a medical setting while keeping them close to home and family at the same time.

"Three years ago we lost our 24-year-old son Jordan to heroin," said Julie Filler.

Three years later the Jordan Filler Foundation made their donation to help Lurie Children's Hospital open a brand new standalone treatment facility in Lincoln Park.

"Research, education and treatment, will be involved in this center," Julie said. "Young adults, kids, will be able to come in and they won't be stigmatized. No one knows what they're there for, but the treatment is there."

Jordan's parents, Julie and Mark, said their son got into even more trouble when he went out of state for treatment. They said staying close to home gives kids more of a chance to succeed.

"Usually therapy alone doesn't work. And sometimes medication alone doesn't work," Mark Filler said.

"You need to work with the family and the kid together, and the friends, and bring the whole team in," Julie said.

His parents said this center will give kids the chance Jordan didn't have.

"It was everything I always wanted, everything Jordan needed. It would have made such a big difference," Julie said.

The new treatment center should open early in 2018. The Jordan Filler Foundation is also providing Narcan to Cook County first responders. Narcan is a medication that can save the life of someone who is overdosing.

For more information about the new center and the Jordan Filler Foundation, visit jordanfiller.org
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