Kankakee County dealing with string of suspected fentanyl overdoses

Kankakee County officials say they’ve seen nine suspected drug overdoses in just 48 hours and three people did not survive.

Last Thursday night into Friday, there were seven overdoses and two people died. Then on Saturday there were two more overdoses, one fatal.

The coroner in Kankakee says they appear to all be fentanyl-related, but that is not confirmed and will not be until toxicology reports come back.

Fentanyl is a synthetic drug and is 50 times more potent than heroin, and often cheaper.

So far this year, there have been seven suspected overdose deaths in Kankakee county, compared to all of last year when there were 43 fatal overdoses.

In this recent string, a 20-year-old woman, 37-year-old man and 51-year-old man all died. Six others were revived using the opioid overdose antidote, Naloxone.

The seven who overdosed appeared to have been in the same location, before overdosing.

An associate professor at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, MaryAnn Mason, says older adult opioid overdose deaths have increased 1,886 percent since 1999. So, the news to her in Kankakee is not surprising.

"This is something that catches up with people of all walks of life. Of all age groups. Of all races, ethnicities, genders. Anyone can develop this issue. It's a human problem," said Mason.


Across the country in 2020, there was a 31 percent increase in fatal overdoses. Nearly 92,000 people died.

If you know anything about the cases in Kankakee, you are asked to contact police.