Note: This news release has been updated from an earlier version to reflect the reporting of two additional deaths.
Kenosha County continues to feel the fatal effects of the drug epidemic as five suspected overdose deaths have occurred in recent days, Medical Examiner Patrice Hall said today.
Hall said these deaths were all reported since Friday, and all were east of Interstate 94. Three of these deaths took place Wednesday.
Notably, all of the deceased individuals were over 50 years old, Hall added.
“This tragic series of deaths illuminates the fact that the overdose crisis is affecting all sectors of the community — all ages, all ethnicities, all geographical parts of Kenosha County,” Hall said. “No demographic group is immune to the dangers of using illegal drugs or misusing prescription medications.”
In 2021, the most recent year for which finalized data is available, the 36-45 age group made up the largest share of the confirmed toxicity deaths in Kenosha County. The second largest share was in the 46-55 age range. (See a demographic snapshot below.)
The specific cause of the most recent suspected overdose deaths — as well as many other pending cases this year and from 2022 — will not be confirmed until toxicology results become available.
There are currently 57 confirmed toxicity deaths that occurred in 2022, tying the record that was set in 2017. That total is likely to increase as there several additional cases still pending, Hall said.
Kenosha County agencies continue to offer numerous prevention resources, including Narcan and fentanyl test strips.
People who are seeking help for themselves or for a loved one struggling with substance use are encouraged to contact the Kenosha County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Resource Center at 262-764-8555.
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 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, at 262-657-7188.
Upcoming public Narcan training events staffed by Kenosha County Public Health and Kenosha County Behavioral Health Services:
- 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
- Aug. 19, Sept. 23, Oct. 14: Human Services on the Go stops at the Kenosha Public Market, held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside of the Kenosha Municipal Building, 625 52nd St.
Please note: This schedule is subject to change.
2021 toxicity deaths — a demographic snapshot:
- Total deaths:53
- White: 44
- Black: 5
- Hispanic: 3
- Asian: 1
- Age range:
- 18-25: 2
- 26-35: 10
- 36-45: 18
- 46-55: 16
- 56-65: 6
- 65+: 1
Source: Kenosha County Medical Examiner’s Office data