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The original item was published from 6/27/2023 6:44:32 PM to 7/3/2023 8:36:48 AM.

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Posted on: June 27, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Kenosha County sees new string of suspected overdose deaths; updated 2022 total ties prior record

Medical Examiner's Office door

Kenosha County Medical Examiner Patrice Hall is reporting another recent series of suspected drug overdose deaths, as well as updated figures that indicate 2022 has tied the county’s previous annual record for toxicity deaths.

“These new developments show us that, sadly, Kenosha County remains firmly in the grip of the opioid crisis,” Hall said today. “Now more than ever, I encourage people not to use illegal drugs and counterfeit prescription medications, and to seek help if they need it.”

Hall said her office has processed three suspected overdose deaths this week.

The first of these occurred on Sunday in the City of Kenosha, while the second one was Monday outside of the city and the third was today in the city. The specific causes of these deaths will not be confirmed until toxicology results become available, Hall said.

Recently, Hall said, results were returned from some 2022 cases that were still pending, confirming 57 toxicity deaths for the year. Hall said that ties the previous record from 2017 and it’s a number that will likely grow, as there are still roughly a half dozen 2022 cases pending.

Fentanyl — a deadly synthetic opioid that is now often found added to other illicit substances — continues to be a contributing factor in many of the confirmed overdose deaths in Kenosha, accounting for 37 of the 57 cases now confirmed from 2022.

“That uncertainty about what it is that you’re actually getting when you use illegal drugs or counterfeit prescriptions adds such a dangerous element,” Hall said. “I cannot stress enough the seriousness of this situation.”

Kenosha County Public Health and the Kenosha County Division of Aging, Disability and Behavioral Health Services are continuing to promote the use of Narcan to reverse opioid overdoses and fentanyl test strips that allow users to determine the presence of fentanyl in other drugs.

In addition, many other community resources are available for people struggling with substance use, said Kenosha County Behavioral Health Manager Kari Foss. She encourages 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.

“If you find these overdose numbers unacceptable, just as we do, please reach out to us, talk with us, and see how we can all be a part of alleviating this devastating crisis that we’re in,” Foss said.

More information about available resources:

  • 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 https://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 https://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 https://www.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. 

Upcoming public Narcan training events staffed by Kenosha County Public Health and Kenosha County Behavioral Health Services:

  • June 28, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Human Services on the Go stops at various locations in Kenosha
  • June 29, 9 a.m. to noon: Falls Prevention Day event at the Salem Lakes Fire & Rescue Station No. 1, 11252 254th Court, Trevor
  • July 8, noon to 9 p.m.: Kenosha Pride event in Celebration Place at HarborPark in Kenosha
  • July 12, 7 p.m. to sunset: Human Services on the Go stops at various locations in Kenosha
  • Aug. 1, 5 to 7 p.m.: National Night Out events at various locations
  • Aug. 10, 3 to 6 p.m.: Brass Community School, 6400 15th Ave., Kenosha
  • Aug. 16-20: Kenosha County Fair

 Please note: This schedule is subject to change.

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