EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) _ Madison County in southern Illinois set a record in 2018 with 109 drug-related deaths.
The Belleville News Democrat reports that Coroner Stephen P. Nonn issued a warning in his annual report for 2018, saying he was “alarmed by the number of tragic deaths.” The 109 deaths were more than the previous high of 91 set in 2014.
Most of the deaths were caused by mixes of substances instead of just heroin, which was a major cause in years past. Specifically, Nonn named fentanyl and similar substances, saying it’s more appealing because it’s easier to make and deliver. Other drugs included cocaine, methadone and methamphetamine along with prescription drug overdoses.
Elsewhere in southern Illinois, there were two overdose deaths in Clinton County and 54 drug-related deaths in St. Clair County.