Kenosha County has seen two more suspected overdose deaths in the past week, Medical Examiner Patrice Hall announced today.
This is the second straight week with two such cases and is the continuation of an unfortunate increase in what appear to be drug-related deaths in Kenosha County, Hall said.
“It’s impossible to overstate the dangers of using illegal drugs and misusing prescription medications,” Hall said. “This recent rise in suspected overdose deaths is a painful reminder that drugs can and do kill. Sadder yet is that these deaths are preventable.”
Hall said that for those who do still choose to use, there are fentanyl test kits available for free from Vivent Health (formerly the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin), which may be reached at 262-657-6644 or https://viventhealth.org/locations/kenosha/.
These kits, Hall said, can help users to understand what is actually in the narcotics that they have purchased.
“Fentanyl, which can be deadly even in very small quantities, is popping up in other drugs, from marijuana to pain killers,” Hall said. “Users need to know what they’re getting and understand the risks associated with using these drugs.”
In addition to the four suspected overdose deaths in the past two weeks, there was a fifth such case earlier in the month, Hall said. While all of these cases are believed to have involved drugs, Hall said final confirmation will not come until toxicology results are received.
Furthermore, the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department earlier this month responded to six, nonfatal overdose cases in a six-day period. All of these individuals were revived with Narcan, a medication that reverses the effects of opioids.
Narcan and associated training is available to the public for free from Kenosha County Public Health, via a grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. More details about this program are available at https://www.kenoshacounty.org/1916/Narcan-Distribution-Program, by calling 262-605-6741, or by sending an email to [email protected].
More information about other drug prevention and recovery programs and resources is available at https://www.kenoshacounty.org/1844/Drug-Prevention-Programs and https://www.saveliveskenosha.org.