TAZEWELL COUNTY -- A drug designed to help heroin addicts kick the habit is now taking lives.
Methadone deaths are increasing and it's causing Morton police to search for answers.
This perscription pain killer is winding up in the hands of young people. It's led to the deaths of six people in Tazewell County already this year.
Morton Police Deputy Chief Jason Miller said it's become a serious problem. "Anytime we have young people dying of anything we're concerned by it. Even one death is too many," he said.
Police said two young men died last month after taking methadone they allegedly bought from Daughlton Calvin, an eighteen year old from Morton. He's charged with two counts of drug induced homicide.
Methadone is a synthetic opiate that can be used to treat heroin addicts. Several area clinics are using the drug for that purpose.
Tazewell County Coroner Carl Powell called it "a pretty nasty drug."
"I don't know if the cure is better for the solution to heroin use, because it seems like a lot of people that were using heroin go to methadone. Now they're using methadone and they're passing away so there's something that needs to be addressed in that area."
Police said on the street one dose can cost $30 to $60. It can be cheaper than similar drugs, like heroin.
While methadone does help in some cases, Coroner Powell said he's seen too many deadly consequences from the drug being treated lightly.
"I still think the solution is with the clinics, probably policing their dispersement of it," he said.
Morton police are still investigating the most recent deaths. They now hope to start educating the public on this deadly drug.