New Tazewell County Coroner surprised by number of prescription drug deaths

By Audrey Williams

December 7, 2012 Updated Dec 7, 2012 at 8:33 PM CDT

TAZEWELL COUNTY, Ill -- Methadone deaths have been on the rise in Tazewell County. In fact, for 2012, it still remains the number one killer among drug and alcohol deaths in that county.

Dr. Jeff Baldi has been the Tazewell County Coroner for just over two months now and in that time, he says he hasn't seen any methadone related deaths but he is surprised in the number of prescription drug related deaths.

Dr. Baldi said from January through mid-November, there have been seven prescription drug deaths. That accounts for one-third of their 21 cases involving drugs and alcohol.

Now, he is making a plea to area residents: "I'm just asking that the residents here in Tazewell County that really if they know somebody who's having a problem with a particular drug, and most of the time it is a particular medication, please get involved with them," he said.

Dr. Baldi said those who have died from prescription drugs vary greatly in both ages and socio-economic status.

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