Milwaukee Experiencing Unprecedented Number of Drug Overdoses
Approximately one drug overdose every 14 hours.
Milwaukee is on it’s way to having a record number of drug overdose deaths this year. The Medical examiner’s office documented 127 probable deaths between July 1 and September 11. In the face of the epidemic, advocates and recovering drug users continue spreading awareness of the issue, and providing the hope some people need in order to change their lives.
Sara Schreiber, toxicology director for the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office, told Wisconsin Examiner Milwaukee is experiencing “one overdose death, every 14 hours.”
“If this rate continues, we will have over 450 drug-related deaths in 2019, eclipsing the previous record of 401 individuals who died from drug-related causes in 2017.” Schreiber said. She explains that heroin, fentanyl, other opioids, and benzodiazepines were involved in most of the deaths. In July, 14 fatal overdoses occurred over a single weekend in the Cream City.
The news comes as Milwaukee County joins municipalities nationwide in suing Purdue Pharma for its role in fueling the opioid epidemic’s early years. Local governments hope that settlements from the lawsuits will repay civic damages caused by the crisis. According to the Independent, the opioid crisis has resulted in over $1 trillion in economic damages over the last couple of decades.
“These tragedies can be prevented,” says Michelle Jaskulski, senior director of faith and family programs for Addiction Policy Forum. “One step we all can take to help save a life is learning how to recognize and respond to an overdose. The city should be following the U.S. Surgeon General’s recommendation that the life-saving antidote Naloxone be readily available for anyone.”
Jaskulski and colleagues at APF hold events training people how to use Naloxone in its various forms. One of these demonstrations took place in a meeting on addiction in August, the topic of the day being that recovery is possible for users.
“We think it is important to celebrate people’s success along with the efforts of those who support them,” says Klein. “Not talking about this issue that is probably impacting everyone in some way, shape, or form only reinforces the belief that the behavior is shameful and not something a person talks about. Shame makes it extremely difficult for people and their families to ask for help.”
Reprinted with permission of Wisconsin Examiner.
- Gov. Evers Announces Wisconsin to Join the Bloomberg Opioids Overdose Prevention Initiative - Gov. Tony Evers - Nov 10th, 2021
- Baldwin, Smith Call for Continued Support for Opioid Overdose Prevention and Harm Reduction in COVID-19 Recovery Efforts - U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin - Oct 20th, 2021
- Fake Pills Laced With Fentanyl Fueling Overdoses - Shamane Mills - Oct 4th, 2021
- MKE County: House of Correction Starts Opioid Treatment Program - Edgar Mendez - Sep 24th, 2021
- Memorial Remembers Victims of Opioid Addiction - Edgar Mendez - Sep 2nd, 2021
- Ortiz-Velez Resolution Supporting Fentanyl Testing Strip Legalization Adopted by County Board - Sup. Sylvia Ortiz-Velez - Jul 29th, 2021
- Baldwin Calls For Rejecting Purdue Pharmacy Bankruptcy Plan - Isiah Holmes - Jul 27th, 2021
- County Board Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson Applauds National Settlement in Opioids Lawsuits - County Board Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson - Jul 22nd, 2021
- Supervisor Ortiz-Velez Resolution Supporting Fentanyl Testing Strip Legalization Advances - Sup. Sylvia Ortiz-Velez - Jul 19th, 2021
- State May Get $65 million in Opioid Settlement - Shamane Mills - Jul 9th, 2021
Read more about Opioid Crisis here