McLean County sees overdose cases linked to Fentynal usage

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill .– The Bloomington Police Department and the McLean County Coroner’s office issued a warning Wednesday to residents about the dangers of fentanyl.

Drug dealers often mix fentanyl with cocaine or heroin. Fentanyl can be used medically however as a pain reliever. But in this case, patients are monitored by doctors.

It’s a synthetic opioid that is 100 times stronger than morphine. Users can die when consuming a drug that is laced with fentanyl because what they’re taking is far stronger than they may realize.

Mclean County Coroner Kathleen Yoder says two people died Wednesday because of fentanyl overdoses. While two died of overdoses in McLean County, in Peoria, Josh Bradshaw with AMT said they aren’t seeing many cases.

“We would hope we aren’t seeing it because of harm-reduction measures in place in our community. However, with the Bloomington-Normal area being just a few miles down the road, we will be more aware and more vigilant,” he said.

Fentanyl is typically mixed with cocaine or heroin. It’s a synthetic opioid pain reliever that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. However, most cases of fentanyl-related harm are linked to illegally made fentanyl.

“It’s even 50 times stronger than heroin, which is another opioid narcotic. So it’s very easy compared to traditional types of drugs too, I guess, make an error in judgment,” Bradshaw said.

Yoder said this warning is simply just a reminder for users to be aware of the products they buy. She said she isn’t seeing a trend or an increase in fentanyl cases at this time but they will keep an eye out on the possibility.

Those with addiction in the Bloomington-Normal area can call PATH Crisis Center at 2-1-1. In Peoria, users can reach out to the JOLT Foundation.

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