JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — Officials in Will County say the number of deaths from heroin and fentanyl overdoses fell slightly in 2018 compared with the previous year.
The officials consider it a sign of progress in the fight against opioid abuse.
The county, southwest of Chicago, reported 82 deaths from heroin or fentanyl overdoses in 2018. That’s down from 85 in 2017, but still significantly higher than 53 deaths in 2015 or 78 in 2016.
Kathleen Burke, director of Substance Use Initiatives, gives credit to programs like the Safe Passage network, which allows opioid users to seek help from police without fear of penalties. But Burke says there’s still more work to be done.