Woodstock only remaining city not to implement A Way Out – McHenry County
CRYSTAL LAKE – The "A Way Out" program helped Jeremy Caccamo extend his life, his brother said.
Caccamo, 29, of Wonder Lake died this summer because of a heroin overdose, but his brother, Rich Caccamo, is trying to keep his legacy alive and increase awareness of the McHenry County program.
A Way Out – McHenry County aims to fast-track heroin and other drug addicts to treatment by providing a certain amount of amnesty to addicts who want help. The initiative, which started in May, is modeled after Lake County’s program, and so far has helped 51 people, McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally said.
Crystal Lake is the latest city to join the program. It also is the largest city in McHenry County, and its police department is the second-largest law enforcement agency in the county behind the McHenry County Sheriff's Office.
Woodstock is the only municipality in McHenry County not participating, but Kenneally said Woodstock is going through final legal approvals to join soon.
“We thought it was particularly timely due to the opioid crisis in the county that has not only claimed a lot of lives, but has had cascading consequences across the country,” Kenneally said.
The county is on pace to have more overdose deaths, particularly related to opioids, than last year, with about 50 deaths to date, Kenneally said, adding that the county sees about one person die a week.
Jeremy Caccamo joined the A Way Out program and was able to get treatment from Lutheran Social Services of Illinois in Chicago. He died July 5, but Rich Caccamo said the program helped prolong his life.
“It definitely gave him direction and got him into detox and treatments, but it is a disease. It’s not just a choice, and there are known to be relapses,” said Rich Caccamo, 36, of Crystal Lake. “My advice to anyone coming out of treatment is to find a 12-step program to follow and be persistent, because a lot of the people who relapse say their fallout point was to stop going to meetings because they thought they were doing better.”