Winnebago County sees rise in overdose deaths in 2018

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR)--- While the month of December is yet to be included in the number of overdose deaths in Winnebago County, the toll has already surpassed 2017 overdose deaths.

Winnebago County Coroner, Bill Hintz, says this rise can be attributed to a rise in synthetic fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that mimics natural heroin and large amounts of morphine.

Hintz says they are seeing more drugs contain synthetic fentanyl since the month of July.

"When they're doing their drug, they're overdosing almost immediately because of this synthetic fentanyl that is spiking at such high rate, at a high level In their system," says Hintz.

The Rockford Fire Department urges the community to undergo naloxone trainings. Naloxone is a medication that helps prevent overdose by opioids. These trainings are done in partnership with the Winnebago County Healtlh Department and Hope Over Addiction.

Winnebago County Health Department: (815) 720-4000
Hope Over Addiction: (779) 423-1972