DUPAGE COUNTY, IL — Fentanyl has increasingly become a “major drug” in fatal overdoses in DuPage County, according to coroner Richard Jorgensen’s 2021 overdose statistics. The synthetic opioid was linked to 75 overdose deaths throughout the county last year, the report indicated.
“The most important trend is that heroin is a minor drug at this point and Fentanyl has become the major drug causing death,” Jorgensen wrote in his report. He added that the surge in Fentanyl overdose deaths first became evident in 2015.
Of the 102 fatal opioid overdoses in 2021, 36 percent involved heroin and 81 percent involved Fentanyl. Heroin alone was responsible for one overdose death in DuPage County in 2021, whereas heroin was attributed to five overdose deaths in 2020.
Fentanyl, or a mixture thereof, was tied to the following overdose deaths in 2021:
Jorgensen noted, “It must be stated that the analysis of this information is very difficult due to the polypharmacy. It was very unusual for an analysis to find one or two drugs. Rather, it was commonplace to find up to 15 drugs in the system making it difficult to determine which drug was responsible for the death.”
Prescription opioids were linked to 11 deaths in 2021, as opposed to nine deaths in 2020.
DuPage County’s 2021 overdose statistics also reflected a notable spike in non-opioid substances and medications. There were 26 fatal non-opioid overdoses in 2021, compared to 18 fatal non-opioid overdoses in 2020. Nine deaths were attributed to cocaine alone in 2021, a 50 percent increase over 2020, when six deaths were attributed to cocaine alone.
Overall, the total number of overdose deaths increased from 130 in 2020 to 138 in 2021, the report showed. Jorgensen noted that this “tempered” the “seemingly good news” that overall opioid overdoses had decreased from 112 in 2020 to 102 in 2021.
He cautioned “The epidemic of opioid and other legal and illegal drugs continues to ravage our county.”
Click the link to read the full report about 2021 overdose statistics in DuPage County.
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