Overdose cases rise in Winnebago County

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WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) - The Winnebago County coroner releases new figures on the growing opioid epidemic here in the stateline.

In 2017, the coroner's office saw 124 overdose cases, up from 96 the year before.

Coroner William Hintz says 63 deaths were related to fentanyl, a drug 50 times more powerful than heroin. However, with many of the overdose deaths last year, those who died had a combination of drugs in their system.

"In years past you might have death just attributed to heroin or cocaine. Now in the past five-six months, we've had to put three or four different types of drugs as the cause of death," said Hintz.

The coroner believes raising awareness about the dangers of drugs will lead to fewer overdoses.