Drug-induced homicide arrest comes as Peoria County sees jump in fatal drug overdoses

Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 10:23 PM CST
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PEORIA COUNTY (25 News Now) - A Peoria woman is in jail, accused of providing drugs that killed. It happens as one key stakeholder says the deadly drug overdose problem has “skyrocketed” this year.

Tuesday, Sharon Lucy, 58, was booked into the Peoria County Jail for investigation of drug-induced homicide and obstructing justice. Peoria Police will not provide details as the case remains under investigation.

“To me it means that some of these people that have suffered through a drug overdose, the person who is responsible for providing that will be held accountable,” said Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood.

Harwood says fatal drug overdoses were on the decline starting in 2016, but this year they’re up 20%. The coroner says 45 people have died from a drug overdose in Peoria County.

Often times, Harwood says the amount of Fentanyl is staggering.

“Generally speaking, the reference range of three nanograms per liter can be fatal and we’re seeing fentanyl levels in the high 20′s,” said Harwood.

Too much, even for Narcan.

JOLT Harm Reduction last year referred more than 200 people to treatment. Program Director, Chris Schaffner says 82% of them completed it.

“With each fatality, even when it’s increasing, it just reinforces our commitment to this work,” said Schaffner.

While abstinence is the best way to prevent an overdose, there are resources. JOLT provides Narcan and other lifesaving mediations and there is also a 24-hour national hotline.

“I think if more people were supportive of people who suffered from drug abuse, they would be more likely to contribute to the solution of the problem,” said Harwood.

As of Wednesday, no charges have been filed against Sharon Lucy in the Peoria County State’s Attorney’s Office.