SPRINGFIELD – Within the past 24 hours, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has received reports of approximately ten individuals transported to area hospitals for respiratory distress or cardiac arrest. Individuals reported using crack cocaine before experiencing these symptoms. There has been one death. These cases have been reported in Chicago and suburban Cook County and law enforcement is investigating.

While illicit drugs are always harmful, IDPH is cautioning people due to the number of cases over a short period of time and the severity of symptoms. People who use, or know someone who uses illegal drugs, should seek substance use treatment. The Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Substance Use Recovery and Treatment offers resources on its website.

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Individuals who experience symptoms of respiratory distress or cardiac arrest after using illegal drugs should seek treatment immediately. Emergency departments and first responders should be aware of this situation.

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