Illinois Sen. Ellman draws attention to increase in opioid overdoses


Over the past three weeks, the number of fatal and nonfatal opioid overdoses in DuPage County, Ill., has increased, including multiple deaths on the same day, according to Coroner Richard Jorgensen.

“As the state continues with the stay at home order, we need to remember there is another epidemic that has been spreading across our communities, the opioid epidemic,” state Sen. Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) said. “Though COVID-19 continues to be an unprecedented threat, we need to remain attentive to the opioid epidemic and ensure that everyone knows help is available.”

Ellman acknowledged that these are uncertain times, and uncertainty is especially difficult for those struggling with mental health issues and/or drug addiction. She encouraged anyone who is struggling to use the resources provided by the state on its website.

Last year, the average age of someone who died from an opioid overdose in Illinois was 36 years old, an increase from previous years. Victims often suffered from depression, lived alone, had recently been in drug rehab or treatment, or were having personal or marriage difficulties.

Jorgensen urged anyone who knows someone who is in a high-risk group for overdoses, to help that person get the support he or she needs.