The McHenry County Department of Health on Friday warned McHenry County residents of a significant increase in overdoses and deaths likely caused by opioids.
Fatal and nonfatal overdoses have remained at higher than normal levels in McHenry County since a March 13 alert from the McHenry County Substance Abuse Coalition, the health department said in a news release.
The alert advised that local law enforcement had reported overdoses that required high quantities of naloxone, a drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, according to the release. The alert also reported an increase of probable opioid-related deaths between March 5 and 14.
The county health department declined to provide the number of suspected and confirmed fatal and nonfatal overdoses, saying it “is committed to protecting the identity of people.”
The suspected deaths have not been confirmed as opioid-related at this time, but most overdose deaths in McHenry County occur because of opioids and often are caused by fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid, according to the McHenry County Substance Abuse Coalition.
Fentanyl is becoming more common in illicit drugs and can be found mixed with other drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamine. It is one of the most lethal forms of opioids, the health department said.
The county health department noted that naloxone and fentanyl test strips, which can be used to detect fentanyl in all type of drugs, are available for free at the following locations:
- The McHenry County Department of Health’s offices at 100 N. Virginia St. in Crystal Lake and 2200 N. Seminary Ave. in Woodstock are open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. No identifying information is needed.
- Live4Lali offers supplies online or by calling or texting 224-297-4393.
- Warp Corps offers supplies from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week at 114. N. Benton St. in Woodstock or by calling 815-575-9358.
- The Break in Crystal Lake offers supplies by calling 815-575-9358.
- A Way Out can provide support and help finding treatment at 815-347-0385 or email@example.com.