The opioid drug problem in America is now becoming an epidemic. Rockford and the surrounding areas are no exception.
More people are dying in our communities because of opioid addiction than ever before.
The numbers are startling: Heroin, fentanyl and prescription painkillers took the lives of 96 people last year in Winnebago county. This year, 77 people have died from overdosing on these drugs. Both Stephenson (11) and Boone counties (9) have already had more overdose deaths this year than in 2016.
Statewide, 1,889 people died from opioid-related overdoses in Illinois in 2016.
That is why over the next month 13 WREX is launching a new series looking at the opioid crisis in our area.
Our series, titled "Hooked: The Opioid Epidemic Hits Home."
The first report airs Thursday, October 26 at 10 p.m. WREX anchor Sean Muserallo takes a look at the opioid crisis in the Rockford-area, what community leaders have to say about the problem, and how this drug crisis is tearing families apart.