Opioid Overdose Prevention Project

By the Village of Oak Park – OAK PARK, Ill. — The Oak Park Department of Public Health is launching a new initiative this month aimed at preventing deaths caused by opioid overdoses.

Emergency opioid overdose boxes will be installed in seven (7) easily accessible, public-facing locations throughout Oak Park. Each box contains several pouches with doses of naloxone nasal spray and instructions on how to administer the potentially life-saving medication, which is designed to block the effects of an opioid overdose.

Most boxes will be accessible 24 hours a day, and anyone who wishes to take one or more of the free pouches may do so anonymously regardless of immediate need. Boxes will be installed on Village-owned light poles this month at the following approximate locations:

  • Corner of South Blvd. and Harlem Ave.
  • Corner of North Ave. and Ridgeland Ave.
  • Corner of Randolph St. and Marion St.
  • Corner of Washington Blvd. and Austin Blvd.
  • Near the alley between parking lot 33 and 900 S. block of Humphrey Ave.

Boxes will also be installed at the following community locations:

  • Oak Park Public Library – Main Branch; lobby (834 Lake St.)
  • Maple Park; bathroom building (1105 S. Maple Ave.)

“There is no doubt that there is a real need for this type of resource,” said Oak Park Public Health Director, Dr. Theresa Chapple. “We are excited to be able to bring forth a program that is so accessible throughout Oak Park as we truly believe that this is a key step in working together to reduce opioid overdoses in our community.”

Naloxone, also commonly referred to as the trademarked name Narcan, is a safe medication that works to block the effects of an overdose from opioids such as heroin, prescription painkillers and fentanyl. 

Individuals concerned that someone is experiencing a drug overdose should immediately call 911, administer naloxone following the easy-to-use instructions included with the kit and stay on scene until emergency responders arrive.

Naloxone has no adverse effects, even on children. Naloxone is an opioid blocker, so it will not have an effect, positive or negative, on anything other than an opioid overdose.

Oak Park is no different than many communities across the country that have seen an increase in opioid overdoses in recent years. In 2022, 151 people experienced overdoses in Oak Park throughout the course of the year.

Project expenses are funded by the Illinois Opioid Allocation Agreement, through which settlement funds from opioid manufacturers and distributors are distributed to states for use in combatting the opioid epidemic.

Anyone needing help with opioid use disorders, including families of anyone affected by the disease, can get help 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 833.234.6343, a hotline hosted by the Illinois Department of Human Services. Find more information at www.ilhelpline.org.  

More information about Oak Park’s naloxone program, including a list of frequently asked questions and an up-to-date list of available locations, can be found at www.oak-park.us/naloxone. 


PDOP awarded the 2021 PIAS Award

The Park District of Oak Park was awarded the 2021 Platinum International Aquatic Safety Award from Jeff Ellis & Associates, Inc.

This award recognizes aquatic facilities who are consistently exceeding their criteria for aquatic safety certification. International Safety Awards are presented in three levels – Silver, Gold, and Platinum.   Only the elite, top 14% of Ellis and Associate clients in the world receive a Platinum International Aquatic Safety Award each year.

Recipients are determined based on the results they receive from multiple unannounced aquatic facility operational safety audits conducted randomly throughout the year. Ellis & Associate’s International Staff Auditors conduct these audits by gathering undercover video surveillance of individual on-duty lifeguards to accurately evaluate the lifeguards’ professional diligence and alertness to their water. Basic life support and rescue skills, both individual and team, are also evaluated along with the effectiveness of established Emergency Action Plans by simulating emergency situations. The audit concludes with administrative, supervisory and facility evaluations.

Ellis & Associate’s client facilities represent the finest and safest aquatic facilities in the world, and all clients are top performers in these audits. With such high standards set already, it is an exceptional feat for a facility to perform so well that they are granted an International Aquatic Safety Award.

 “We are so proud of our lifeguards and aquatic managers for their efforts that resulted in this recognition,” said Jan Arnold, Executive Director.  The 2021 season was unique in the fact we were closed in 2020 due to the pandemic and started the season with a variety of safety protocols in place.  It is the District’s commitment to safety that we are proudest of.  The staff work diligently each and every day to ensure both a fun and safe experience for our guests.

The Park District of Oak Park operates two outdoor swimming pools from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Rehm Pool is located at 515 Garfield Street and Ridgeland Pool is located at 415 Lake Street. Both pools offer Public Swim, Lap Swim, Swim Lessons and Special Events and is open to both residents and non-residents.