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Neighbors of Kane County

Renz Center Hosts Candlelight Vigil to Honor Loved Ones Lost to Addiction

Aug 29, 2019 10:30AM ● By Hannah Ott

Elgin - To commemorate International Overdose Awareness Day, Renz Addiction Counseling Center is inviting community residents who have lost a family member or friend to a drug overdose to a candlelight vigil in their honor tonight, August 29 at 7:30pm. It will take place at the Center’s 2 American Way, Elgin, location. Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain is scheduled to speak. 

“The candlelight vigil is a special occasion to remember loved ones lost to alcohol or drugs,” said Renz Center’s Executive Director Jerry Skogmo, “It's an opportunity to come together as a community to remind those struggling with an addiction that overdose prevention is key and treatment is possible.”

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event that aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have lost their life to a drug overdose.

Drug overdose deaths and opioid-involved deaths continue to be high in Kane County. In 2018, 68 people died as a result of opioid-related drug overdoses, reported the Kane County Health Department/Kane County Coroner’s Office. That’s higher than 2017, with 55 deaths reported.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “In 2017, there were 70,237 drug overdose deaths in the United States. The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths in 2017 was 9.6% higher than the rate in 2016.” Additionally, the CDC reported that drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone increased by 45% from 2016 to 2017.

Renz Center provides a continuum of care dedicated to the prevention, intervention and treatment of addictive behaviors related to alcohol, drugs and gambling. Services range from prevention programs for youth in the schools to outpatient treatment programs for adolescents and adults. Priority is given to pregnant women and women with dependent children. Offices are located in Elgin, St. Charles and Streamwood. 

About Renz Center: Renz Addiction Counseling Center is licensed by the state of Illinois for its adult and adolescent outpatient treatment programs. Renz Center is a non-profit organization funded in part by the federal government, Elgin Township, the Illinois Department of Human Services, Hanover Township, Geneva, and St. Charles 708 Mental Health Boards and other local community organizations. To find out more about Renz Center’s programs, call 847-742-3545 or visit

Source: Meghan Nelson and Deb Howe