Deadly new drug cocktail hitting the streets

Monroe County Coroner Bob Hill

A sober expression painted Monroe County Coroner Bob Hill’s face as he leaned back in his chair, hands in his coat pockets, reflecting on the tragedy of the newest deadly homemade concoction hitting the streets.

“Toxicology reports in the area are showing this more and more,” he said, describing addicts’ use of a heart-stopping cocktail that includes methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine.

Monroe County Coalition for Drug-Free Communities Chairman Gary Most stared down Hill as he spoke, a combination of fear and curiosity in Most’s eyes.

“Is this the end user that’s mixing them up or is the supplier doing that? How is that coming about?” Most asked.

“It’s customer demand. The customer demands it,” coalition member Jim Trantham interjected.

Hill nodded in agreement.

“What I’m getting is the users are feeling lethargic, they’re out of it,” he explained. “So they’re not getting to feel the high that comes from shooting up heroin.

“The cocaine and meth are supposed to keep them up. Of course, it’s causing heart complications.”

Using an opiate with a stimulant is referred to as a “speedball,” and is hindering first responders’ attempts to use the opioid reversal spray Narcan on an overdose victim. Hill noted a similar challenge is wrought when the painkiller fentanyl is mixed with heroin.

In order to multiply its efforts in fighting such attacks on the community, the coalition will host a dine-in fundraiser at  Applebee’s in Waterloo from noon to 8 p.m. March 15. The coalition is also bringing awareness to resources in the community connected to the group.

Also during Monday’s coalition meeting, Sabrina Gummersheimer of Human Support Services discussed how HSS has been a significant asset to the coalition, recapping the Adult Redeploy Illinois program that diverts non-violent offenders from prison.

“We had one really good success story where a man came in with multiple DUIs and he had lost his license,” she said. “Now he’s moved down to Florida with his wife and kid, has a good job and is still staying sober. There have been others.

“It just might not be successful the first or second time. It’s just a long road to recovery for some.”

She also touched on other DUI and substance use services, such as DUI court-ordered evaluations and a driver’s risk education program. Nancy Davis of Gateway Foundation will speak at next month’s coalition meeting.

For more information on HSS, call 939-4444 or visit

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