WILL COUNTY, Ill. — The Will County Coroner’s Office says 10 deaths in 24 hours could be tied to overdoses, prompting a new warning about deadly drugs in the suburbs.
Will County Coroner Laurie Summers said a recent spike in drug overdose deaths linked to heroin on the market laced with lethal doses of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid up to 100 times more potent than morphine.
Summer says fentanyl is now cheap and easily accessible, adding, “it takes one grain of this stuff to kill somebody. It’s toxic and they’re dead.”
Will County Deputy Chief Coroner Michael Vanover was personally affected by the opioid epidemic after his daughter, Jillian Hanson, died from a fentanyl overdose in 2018.
“It is a nightmare, something I live every day,” Vanover said. “My wife started banging on the bedroom door. I came in, kicked the bedroom door in and found my daughter.”
Vanover says his daughter was prescribed Norco after a car accident, became addicted and then moved to heroin— but he had no idea she was using.
Vanover’s daughter was 30 years old, with two children, and was in nursing school.
The coroners hope the county will fund drug rehab treatment and law enforcement can do their part to remove drugs off the street before more people lose their lives.
It will take 8-12 weeks for official toxicology reports to come back for the overdose deaths from this week. The sheriff’s office says two officers are assigned to a task force working with the DEA to track down the source of these drugs.
“It’s got to stop,” Vanover said. “It’s just got to stop,”