Woodstock's Warp Corps aims to prevent drug overdoses, suicides after McHenry Co. spike

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Tuesday, August 30, 2022
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Warp Corps in Woodstock aims to reduce suicide and drug use in McHenry County using "prevention through engagement."

WOODSTOCK, Ill. (WLS) -- Think of it as a skateboard shop/music studio/teen hangout/community center.

Warp Corps is all of that, and more. Located in Woodstock, the McHenry County collective aims to reduce suicide and drug use in the community by focusing on one thing.

"Prevention through engagement. We have music, action sports, fitness, anything we can do. Artwork workshops," said Rob Mutertm Warp Corps. "On the regular we have five to 20 kids that come hang out here after school."

Warp Corps is part of McHenry County's Substance Abuse Coalition, which, last week, in partnership with the health department issued an urgent alert.

In the 28-day period from July 23 to August 21 the county saw a 250% increase in suspected overdose related deaths, when compared to the previous 28 days.

"Substances right now, we never see an answer. It could be a strong batch that went through. It could be that it was just this particular time that a pocket of people that this occurred," said Laurie Crain, Mchenry County Substance Abuse Coalition.

There have been 24 suspected overdose-related deaths in McHenry County so far this year.

While that may not sound like much, unlike the rest of the state, and indeed the nation, McHenry has been trending down, which is why the sudden spike raised alarm bells and the desire to remind people here of resources like Warp Corps where people can access fentanyl strips and Narcan for free.

"It's not heavy, hey don't do this, don't do that. But getting them engaged in whatever their passions are. People need three things, something to do, a place to do it in and somebody who cares about them," Mutert said.

"Harm reduction strategy is how to take one step from where you are. So if that is that we help you use safely until you're ready for a change then that's what we need to do. I can't treat anyone who passes away," said Crain.

Substance abuse help, as well as Information on how to obtain Fentanyl test strips and Narcan for free throughout the area can be obtained by contacting the Illinois Helpline by either phone, text or online at HelplineIL.org.