The Kenosha County Medical Examiner’s Office responded to three suspected overdose deaths during a recent five-day period, Medical Examiner Patrice Hall said today.
This recent wave of deaths is yet another unfortunate reminder of the continuing toll that illegal drugs and counterfeit prescription medications are taking locally and nationally, Hall said.
Hall said the three cases in recent days all occurred in the City of Kenosha, with two occurring on consecutive days. The specific causes of these deaths will not be confirmed until toxicology results arrive, Hall said.
And while it is unknown whether the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl was involved in these cases, Hall said it continues to be a contributing factor in many of the confirmed overdose deaths in Kenosha County.
In 2021, 40 of the 53 toxicity deaths in Kenosha County involved the presence of fentanyl or a fentanyl analog, according to Medical Examiner’s Office data. In 2022, 33 of the 48 presently confirmed toxicity deaths involved fentanyl or a fentanyl analog, with some suspected cases still pending toxicology results.
“Life-saving resources including Narcan and fentanyl test strips are available to people struggling with substance abuse,” Hall said. “I strongly encourage people who are using and their loved ones to learn more about what’s available.”
Kenosha County Behavioral Health Manager Kari Foss said it is important to remember that help is available, and recovery is possible. She encouraged people who are not sure where to start in seeking help for themselves or a loved one to call the Kenosha County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Resource Center at 262-764-8555.
“You do not need to know what to ask for; you just need to be willing to share the concerns that you have,” Foss said. “Together, we will find the right services to meet your needs.”
Available resources include:
- Narcan, a life-saving medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, is available at no cost from Kenosha County Public Health. More information about this program is available at narcantrainedkenosha.com, by calling 262-605-6741, or by sending an email to [email protected].
- Fentanyl test strips are also available from Kenosha County Public Health and are offered to people who receive Narcan. The strips can be used to detect the presence of fentanyl in other substances. Strips may be picked up from 8:30 to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday at the Kenosha County Public Health Job Center Clinic, 8600 Sheridan Road, Kenosha. For more information, call 262-605-6775. They are also available from Vivent Health-Kenosha, which may be reached at 262-657-6644 or online at viventhealth.org/locations/kenosha.
- The Kenosha County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Resource Center, which links people with substance use disorder resources, may be reached from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday at 262-764-8555. More details, including a newly updated Kenosha County Behavioral Health Community Resources Guide, are available at kenoshacounty.org/2242/Behavioral-Health-Community-Resources.
- The Kenosha County Crisis Hotline, operated by Kenosha Human Development Services, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, at 262-657-7188.