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Heroin Overdoses Up 42 Percent In Will County During 2016

The coroner in Will County in northern Illinois says heroin overdose deaths in his jurisdiction were up more than 40 percent in 2016 over 2015. (WRSP File Photo)

The coroner in Will County in northern Illinois says heroin overdose deaths in his jurisdiction were up more than 40 percent in 2016 over 2015.

Coroner Patrick O'Neil tells The Naperville Sun that as of Friday Will County had 75 heroin or fentanyl deaths. Fentanyl is more lethal heroin substitute. That number is 42 percent higher than the previous record of 53 reported during 2012 and 2015.

O'Neil said he can't predict what 2017 will bring but says he will continue to speak out about the overdose deaths. He says reporting it as a public health issue lets coroners get the message out about the dangers of heroin and other opioids. He says coroners report "how dangerous and how deadly this stuff is, and how serious a problem it is."

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