SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS/WRSP) — Overdose deaths are on the rise, with the Sangamon County Coroner signaling the alarm that fentanyl may be to blame.
Sangamon County Coroner Jim Allmon said compared to last year, accidental overdose deaths have jumped significantly, with the county reporting 40 so far this year. Last year, there were a total of 29 accidental overdose deaths.
Allmon said the jump may be due to the stress of the pandemic.
He said ultimately, the end game of the opioid epidemic is statistics so they can inform law enforcement who is dying, from what, and why.
“We talk a lot about things that could possibly be giving people these reasons to use, such as stressors that come along with unemployment and everyday life," Allmon said. "Situations like this during this pandemic could certainly play a role."
Allmon believes a big reason behind accidental overdoses is people not knowing that the drugs they think they are purchasing aren’t what they are getting.
Allmon said people are dying from overdosing accidentally on several drugs, but he notices right now, that fentanyl is the biggest contributor.
He estimates at least 75% of the overdose deaths are from fentanyl.