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Illinois sees ‘alarming’ rise in drug overdoses for Black, older adults

5 Sep 2023 5:24 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

Drug overdose deaths are continuing to rise in Illinois, specifically among Black and older residents, according to a newly published database by Northwestern University. [ Health News Illinois] 

Per the data, 729 adults between 55 and 64 died from overdose in 2021, compared to 473 in 2019. Of those, about 80 percent were opioid-related. 

Meanwhile, 610 Black Illinoisans died from overdose in 2021, compared to 357 in 2019.

Comparably, 426 white Illinoisans died from overdose in 2021, compared to 347 in 2019.

Maryann Mason, an associate professor of emergency medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and lead faculty member behind the dashboard, said it's a “call for all hands on deck.”

“The dashboard gives a 10,000-foot view of how the illicit drug market has changed in Illinois,” she said. 

Additionally, the data show that heroin-related deaths dropped, while those related to fentanyl, cocaine and xylazine increased.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Illinois Department of Public Health are funding the dashboard. 


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