[Sarah Nader – firstname.lastname@example.org]
Reversals in McHenry County
The McHenry County Substance Abuse Coalition's police naloxone program had 31 overdose reversals in 2017, said Laura Crain, who works as the coalition's drug-free program coordinator. One of the reversals was for a woman who was six months into her pregnancy.
There were 62 deaths attributed to opioid overdoses in McHenry County in 2017, which was about 80 percent of all overdose deaths in the county last year. Two deaths still are being investigated as possible overdoses, McHenry County Coroner Anne Majewski said.
Of the opioid overdoses, almost half were caused by heroin, with a third from prescribed opioid medication alone or with other drugs, and a quarter from fentanyl – an opioid that can be 100 to 10,000 times stronger than morphine.
Michelle Hall, 22, of Lake in the Hills said she started experimenting with heroin at age 16 and picked it up again at 19 after having surgery on her ankle. She began snorting and injecting heroin.
"They would give me morphine and Norco, and it was so easy to get refills," Hall said. "I'd just call and say I'm in pain when I really wasn't. I have a high pain tolerance, but I liked taking the drugs."
Norco is a brand-name prescription drug that contains hydrocodone and acetaminophen.
After being sober for seven months, she decided to inject heroin again and passed out for six hours in a bathroom of the sober-living house where she lived.
"It was scary, and I wanted nothing to do with heroin again, and said I'd get back on track," Hall said. "Within a few days, I was using again."
The second time, Hall woke up in an ambulance. She had been driving and came to a stop light and overdosed, and someone in a car behind her put her car into park and called 911.
Hall now has been sober since Nov. 26, 2016, and she has given naloxone to other people multiple times. She said she thinks it is important to carry around at all times.
"You never know when you'll need it, even going to Walmart or something. There are public restrooms, and that's where I would go if I was using," Hall said.