Opioid use continues to take lives in the Southern Illinois region, and Madison County is on pace for another record year for heroin deaths.
In 2009, Madison County reported 9 heroin deaths, in 2010 the number doubled. So far in 2017, there are 10 confirmed heroin deaths, another 10 attributed to a combination of heroin and Fentanyl, and 15 solely blamed on Fentanyl.
When prescription overdoses and other drugs are factored in, there are 60 drug-related deaths in Madison County so far in 2017. Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn says the emergence of Fentanyl is disturbing.
He says education efforts appear to be starting to have an impact, as age groups that have heard the message of the dangers of the drug are accounting for fewer deaths.