Overdose deaths lower in the Stateline

Local News

WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WTVO) — Winnebago County Coroner releases an annual report, and it has some good news.

The number of opioid-related deaths is down from last year.

“Doing the numbers from 18 to 19 it actually dropped 19%,” said Winnebago County Coroner, Bill Hintz.

He wasn’t expecting the drop.

“I was definitely afraid last year that our numbers might even be even higher than the 159 the year before,” Hintz said.

Overdose deaths were tracked by age, race and gender.

“Drugs, they don’t care it doesn’t matter how old you are they’re still going to effect you,” Hintz said. “We end up seeing a lot more males overdose than females, likewise when we break down race, Caucasians is the highest numbers for many, many, many years.”

He also tracked the zip codes with highest rates of overdoses.

“That way they’re able to reach out into that community a little heavier,” Hintz said.

He gives credit to the community for the decline in overdoses.

“I know Rockford Fire Department for instance they have I call it like a knock and talk program, but basically they’re seeking out the families of the overdose families that they transport to the hospital to be able to educate and be able to answer and help questions,” Hintz said.

Opioid reversing drugs have also helped cut down on deaths.

The Rockford Fire Department offers free training and Narcan kits.

“We’ve trained over 1900 people in 2019, and we’ve handed out that many kits,” said Rockford Fire’s Mobile Integrated Healthcare Manager, Shannon Kopp.

Hintz has greater expectations for 2020.

“You know what, let’s say another 19% drop, that would be fantastic. I would take even a 1% drop it means every little bits helping,” he said.

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