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Map of Cook County, Illinois

Cook County,

Population: 5,180,493

Cook County is the most populated county in Illinois and the second most populated county in the United States. According to the Illinois Department of Health, Cook County saw 13,395 nonfatal overdoses in 2017 (68 percent heroin-related) and 2,202 fatal overdoses (51 percent heroin-related). When broken down by drug type, illicit opioid use (heroin, fentanyl) accounted for more than 70 percent of fatal overdoses in Cook County. Cermak Health Services, the arm of Cook County Health that provides health care for detainees at the Cook County Jail, offers multiple resources for inmates with opioid use disorder, including screening and assessment, detoxification services, medications for addiction treatment, care coordination for post-release services, and naloxone upon release. Cook County used its Building Bridges implementation funding to create processes for linking individuals in the sheriff’s office’s electronic monitoring program with a community health worker who screened and linked patients to addiction services and related care. Prior to implementation, 14 individuals were referred to providers of medications for addiction treatment and 19 individuals were referred for behavioral health substance use disorder (SUD) services over a 6-month period. The community health worker intervention was implemented in October 2020, and from October 2020 through December 2021, 304 individuals were referred for linkage and 107 (39 percent) were successfully linked to medications for addiction treatment and related SUD care.