Morton teen charged in methadone deaths, Coroner says overdoses on the rise

By Audrey Williams

June 21, 2012 Updated Nov 2, 2013 at 4:54 PM CDT

TAZEWELL COUNTY, Ill -- Daughlton Calvin, 18, of Morton is being held in Tazewell county jail on $150,000 bond.

Police believe he could be responsible for the deaths of two other young men in the last month.

Calvin is charged with 2 counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance and 2 counts of drug-induced homicide in the deaths of Travis Whiteman, 22, of Pekin and Cody Schillinger, 19, of Morton.

While toxicology results are pending, police say Calvin provided methadone to Whiteman and Schillinger.

It's a drug typically used to wean heroin addicts off their addiction, but is now being used as a drug, providing a similar high.

Tazewell County Coroner Carl Powell said so far in 2012, he has seen 7 methadone deaths and just one possible death caused by heroin, pending official toxicology results.

Methadone is prescribed by physicians but the problem police are finding is often the drug is sold or stolen.

"I think the only way really to keep people from getting methadone illegally is to make sure if they go to a clinic that they take it at the clinic and it can't be taken off site," said Powell.

Tazewell County State's Attorney Stu Umholtz agrees, saying it may take some regulatory or statutory changes to better regulate the distribution of methadone.

Across the river, Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll says her office is seeing the opposite. In the first 4 months of 2012, she has seen 13 drug related deaths, of those 8 are directly related to heroin, and none have been attributed to methadone.

No matter the drug of choice, there are area clinics to seek help.

At the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery, officials do not believe in the use of methadone to treat heroin addiction patients. They have a strict, drug-free program.

Amanda Dowan at the Addiction Center says if someone is concerned that a loved one is abusing drugs, the first step is to become educated.

She says first look for warning signs like isolation in relationships and poor work or school performance. In some cases, drugs will also take a toll on physical appearance.

"Their skin may change, gain weight, lose weight, things like that," said Dowan.

If you have a drug problem or think someone you know does, you can call the center at 1-800-522-DRUG; they are open 24 hours a day.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.