Heroin is chief killer in suburban Chicago drug overdoses

A study of deaths related to opioid-related overdoses in suburban Chicago has found heroin was the chief killer.

The report was a joint effort by the Cook County Department of Public Health and researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Highlights of the report were shared Friday during a virtual news conference.

The report revealed that of the 1,600 overdose deaths recorded from 2016 through June 2020, 83% tested positive for fentanyl or heroin, or a combination of both.

The hardest hit suburbs include Worth, Broadview, Maywood and Forest Park, places with low incomes and high poverty rates.