Peoria County marks 6th day of new year with 6th overdose - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Peoria County marks 6th day of new year with 6th overdose

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Opioids still plaguing Central Illinois Opioids still plaguing Central Illinois
PEORIA COUNTY, Ill. (WEEK) -- -

Six days into the new year and Peoria County is now up to six overdose deaths. 

Peoria County Coroner Jaime Harwood said in 2016 there were thirty two cases, and last year they had sixty four drug overdoses with two cases still pending. 

When asked how to solve the issue, Harwood said its something that affects everyone in the Heart of Illinois, and it needs to start with the people, not the drugs.

"I think the fix of the problem starts with the addict themselves," he said, "when they first decide it's time. I need help now and I know I need help now."

He continued: "The drug-overdoses that we are having are not simply 20-30 year old people. We're actually seeing deaths in their fifth and six generation of life dying from cocaine overdoses. Cocaine with fentanyl, fentanyl and heroin. So we need to expand our reach for addicts."

Harwood said the causes of drug overdoses are based on criteria including history of drug use and abuse.

In collaboration with Peoria City Police Department and Peoria County Sheriff, the Coroner's Office now carries Narcan kits on their daily routine.

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