The official number of deaths related to heroin/fentanyl overdose deaths in 2019 is staggering according to the Will County Deputy Coroner Laurie Summers.

There were 133 total accidental overdoses in 2019 with heroin and fentanyl being responsible for 101 of those deaths. Summers said “the number of deaths related to fentanyl and synthetic fentanyl has once again risen. Summers says, “Fentanyl has been discovered to be a game changer in the fight against opioid related drug deaths.” Users may not know that the designer drugs are present and many times Narcan may not be strong enough to reverse the drugs’ effects. Summers labeled fentanyl as the deadliest drug in Will County and arch enemy #1 in America.

Will County Coroner Patrick O’Neil said, his office has been tracking heroin related deaths since 1999 when the drug was responsible for six deaths. ONeil says, “the latest death toll represents a 1,583% increase.”

Even though opioid related deaths have risen O’Neil believes that Narcan, in the hands of first responders, has saved thousands of lives in Will County.