Overdose deaths rising in Madison County

Published: Nov. 9, 2019 at 1:03 PM EST
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Madison County is heading toward another record-breaking year for overdose deaths. That’s according to the coroner, Jimmy Cornelison.

He says the county had 42 deaths caused by overdoses last year. So far in 2019, there have been 42 confirmed overdose deaths. Cornelison says two more cases are pending toxicology results, which would add to that number.

He also says the worst is yet to come, as overdose deaths tend to increase during the holiday season.

"People who have nobody, people who are lonely, maybe a loss of a significant other in the last year. It's a significant time for them,” He explains. “A lot of people say 'they don't care one day from the other.' Don't tell me that. They know when it's Christmas day, they know when it's Thanksgiving Day, and they know when they're by themselves."

Cornelison wants a solution, but he's not sure what to do because even family members are in difficult positions.

"Maybe you try to make contact with a family member if that's the case. Get them off the streets,” he suggests. “But it's 50-50. You may not want them in your house and they don't want to be in your house."

He also believes that what's being done now isn't helping to break the cycle.

"As far as I'm concerned, throwing money at it will not change it. It will not change it. And it’s going to be a revolving door over and over and over and over again. It's proving that."

While Cornelison wants a solution, he's not sure how to find one.

"I don't know,” he pauses. “I don't know what we're going to do."

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