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Neighbors of DuPage

2017 opioid related deaths in DuPage up by over 55%

Jan 24, 2018 10:36AM

The DuPage County Coroner’s Office has completed all suspected opioid related deaths from 2017.

“The numbers are startling and show that we continue to have a serious problem of addiction and death related to legal and illegal opioids, writes  Richard A. Jorgensen, MD, FACSCoroner, DuPage County.

“The trend towards the mixture of the opioid fentanyl into the heroin and the emergence of fentanyl analogues in the Chicagoland area continues as a serious problem. These fentanyl analogues are very strong and we have identified another death due to carfentanyl which is 10,000 stronger than morphine. These numbers do not reflect the lives who have been saved by or Police, Fire and medical personnel using the opioid antidote naloxone. If this life saving drug had not been widely used the number of deaths would be much higher.”

Jorgensen adds, “These numbers reveal that our work is not done in the quest to eradicate this epidemic. We must continue to bring education to our citizens about this problem to prevent the use of opioids, treat those who are addicted and eradicate the supply of illegal drugs.”

Statistics as reported by the DuPage Coroners Office:

2017: 23 = Heroin; 32 = Heroin/Fentanyl mixture; 17 = Fentanyl; 23 = prescription medications. Total deaths (illegal Drugs) = 72; total deaths (all opioids) = 95

2016:  36 = Heroin;  26 = Heroin/Fentanyl mixture; 16 = Fentanyl; 17 = prescription medications. Total deaths (illegal Drugs) = 78; total deaths (all opioids) = 95

2015: 36 = Heroin; 7 = Heroin/Fentanyl mixture; 8 = Fentanyl. Total deaths=51