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Chicago Hospitals Brace for Surge in Drug Cases during Lollapalooza

Loyola Toxicologist Available to Explain Effects of Heroin, Ecstasy and More

WHAT:  Chicago emergency medical experts are preparing for an increase in anticipated substance-abuse cases this weekend due to the Lollapalooza festival. “Ecstasy as well as heroin use are on the rise in the Chicago area, and people coming from out of state will bring their preferred choice of recreational poison,” said Christina Hantsch, MD, FACEP, FACMT, toxicologist at Loyola University Health System. “Hallucinations, fast heart rate and increased blood pressure as well as nausea, seizures and vomiting are the result of drug overdoses, if you are lucky. For the unlucky, there’s death."

Hantsch is the former medical director for Illinois Poison Control. “Summer music concerts are unfortunately also drug festivals for many and Chicago is a national leader in hosting many events,” said Hantsch, who is board certified in Emergency Medicine. “Pitchfork and many concerts have occurred in the past few months, accounting for a steep rise in overdoses. And with 40 more concerts this summer, Chicago is bracing for an even higher increase in drug-related medical emergencies."

WHO:  Christina Hantsch, MD, toxicologist at Loyola University Health System, is available for interviews about drug and substance abuse. Media should call Stasia Thompson at (708) 417-5036.

WHY:  Last year’s Lollapalooza recorded 246 ambulance runs and most were for drug-related emergencies.

Since May, the start of the summer concert season, 41 drug overdose cases, one resulting in death, have been reported in Chicago.

Learn why Ecstasy or Molly and other hallucinogenic amphetamines are growing in use.

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus, Loyola University Hospital, is a 569-licensed-bed facility. It houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Media Relations

Stasia Thompson
Media Relations
(708) 216-5155
Anne Dillon
Media Relations
(708) 216-8232