ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Tuesday is National Fentanyl Awareness Day, and according to the coroner, 165 people in Winnebago County died of accidental overdoses from the drug last year.
Opioid overdoses are on the rise across the country, authorities say.
Fentanyl, the synthetic opioid that experts say is about 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin, is partly to blame.
Winnebago County Coroner Jennifer Muraski says the number of fentanyl overdoses is expected to continue an upward trend.
“Everyone should have a can of Narcan on them. I carry it. The deputies carry it,” she said. “It’s incredibly important to have that on your, because you never know when it may need to be used.”
When administered in time, Narcan can reverse the effects of an overdose.
Muraski also warned parents saying they should educate “your children, your grandchildren that this is out there, that any drug they may choose to use — including marijuana — could have fentanyl laced in it.”
The Winnebago County Health Department offers free Narcan training classes.