Tribute hockey game is Saturday
Updated: December 16, 2012 9:08AM
HIGHLAND PARK — The 6th annual Special Tribute hockey game to benefit the Save a Star Drug Awareness Foundation will be played at 9:20 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 at the Centennial Park Ice Arena, 3100 Trail Way, Highland Park.
The Highland Park High School Giants will play this year’s tribute game against the Lake Forest Scouts.
David and Gail Katz of Highland Park started the foundation in memory of their son Daniel Lee Katz, who died at age 25 after taking an overdose of the prescription painkiller, Oxycontin. Daniel Katz was a 2000 graduate of Highland Park High School who played hockey in school.
Daniel’s older sister, Melissa Katz Gold, will speak of the impact his death has had on the family.
The foundation sponsors drug disposal boxes in police stations to provide a safe means for getting rid of unwanted and unused prescription drugs in the family medicine cabinet.
According to David Katz, 70 percent of prescription drugs obtained illegally for non-medical use are taken from parents’ and grandparents’ medicine cabinets.
“Every day, 2,500 students use a prescription drug for non-medical use for the first time,” said Katz. When the medicine cabinet is no longer a source, some turn to illegal drug dealers who can charge between $20 and $100 a pill, he said.
“When they run out of money to spend on the pills, they buy a cheap $5 bag of black tar heroin as a substitute,” said Katz, noting that drug enforcers attribute the recent rise in heroin use to prescription drug abusers seeking a cheap alternative.
“Nobody wants to believe it can happen to them, but it can happen to anybody,” said Katz, adding that the pain of losing his son is with him every minute of every day.
The foundation now has drop-off boxes in police stations in 17 communities, including Highland Park, Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Glencoe, Deerfield, Northbrook, Mundelein and Lake Zurich. The list includes three new locations in Libertyville, Vernon Hills and Round Lake Beach.
Katz said the drop-off box at the Highland Park Police Department has collected 3,000 pounds of medication to date.
For more information, visit www.saveastar.org or call 847-579-1300 ext. 146.