Peoria County saw increase in overdose deaths in 2020, but less than national rate

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – The CDC reports 2020 saw the most drug overdoses ever recorded in the U.S., Peoria County officials say they’ve seen a slight increase locally.

The 93,000 projected deaths nationally are around a 30% increase compared to 2019.

Locally, the Peoria County Coroner’s Office reports 43 county residents died of an overdose in 2020. Compared to 37 deaths in 2019, this is just under a 14% increase.

Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood said harm reduction efforts have helped the county not reach national rates.

“JOLT was out in full force, continuing during the pandemic to distribute as much Narcan as they could at the time. So, I think we’re going to see a trend, hopefully down when we lead into our data for 2021,” Harwood said.

He also explains overdoses are disproportionately impacting some ZIP Codes within the county.

  • 61603 – 11 overdose deaths
  • 61605 – 8 overdose deaths
  • 61604 – 8 overdose deaths
  • 61614 – 9 overdose deaths
  • 61615 – 2 overdose deaths
  • 61616 – 1 overdose death

“We’re seeing a trend here of the worst things that could happen to people, suicides, drug overdoses, homicides, victims of violence and things like that are happenings in the poorest ZIP Codes in the city and I think that’s something we need to focus on,” Harwood said.

Over the last 5 years, Peoria County’s peak for drug overdoses was in 2017 when 67 people died.

If you are suffering from substance use there are resources available:

Peoria County:

JOLT Foundation– 1411 NE Adams St, Peoria, IL 61603
Human Service Foundation — 130 North Richard Pryor Place

UPH Proctor — 5409 N. Knoxville Ave First Floor, Peoria, IL 61614
Teen Challenge — 311 S Olive St, Peoria, IL 61602

OSF St. Francis Medical Center Behavioral Health Services Outpatient — 320 E Armstrong Ave Entrance #4, Peoria, IL 61603

Tazewell County:

Gateway Foundation — 11 S Capitol St, Pekin, IL 61554

Tazwood Center For Wellness — 3248 Van De Ver Ave, Pekin, IL 61554

Rehab Care Group — 901 Illini Dr, East Peoria, IL 61611

McLean County:

Chestnut Health Systems — 1003 Martin Luther King Jr Dr, Bloomington, IL 61701

Advanced Evaluation Treatment and DUI — 705 E Lincoln St #204, Normal, IL 61761

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