A string of suspected fatal overdoses in recent days is an unfortunate reminder of the dangers of drug use, Kenosha County Medical Examiner Patrice Hall said today.
The Medical Examiner’s Office has handled three suspected overdose cases since Tuesday, May 5, Hall said. Two were in the City of Kenosha; one was in Twin Lakes.
“During these unprecedented times, resources are still available to help a person with a substance use disorder,” Hall said. “These resources can be found in the ‘This Packet Could Save a Life’ packet available in in the lobby Kenosha County Public Safety Building or by calling the Kenosha Human Development Services at 262-657-7188.”
These recent deaths come as the Kenosha Fire Department has seen an uptick in the number of overdose calls.
City EMS personnel have responded to 12 opioid-related overdoses since May 1, including the two fatal cases, said Jim Poltrock, Emergency Medical Services Division chief. Six of the 12 calls were on Saturday, May 9.
"KFD remains prepared during the COVID-19 pandemic to care for all patients who need us,” Poltrock said.
Poltrock said seven of the 12 cases involved men in an age range of 28 to 50 (average age, 37). Five of the 12 were women in an age range of 29 to 51 (average age, 39).
Nine of these individuals received Narcan from EMS personnel; two were revived with Narcan prior to EMS arrival.
Narcan is an emergency medication administered nasally to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. It is available for free from the Kenosha County Division of Health under a grant that the county received from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Training is required to receive Narcan. While in-person sessions are currently canceled due to the COVID-19 emergency, online training is available. Call 262-605-6741 or send an email to email@example.com to schedule a date and time.
Hall noted that Peer Support Specialists are available through KHDS to work with those struggling with drug addiction, and that Vivent Health has free kits available to test substances for fentanyl, which is frequently seen in overdose deaths. Vivent Health-Kenosha can be reached at 262-657-6644; during the COVID-19 emergency, the office is only open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays.
Further information about prevention, treatment, and resources are listed below:
KNOW WHAT A SUSPECTED OVERDOSE LOOKS LIKE
For more information, please call the Kenosha County Division of Health at 262-605-6700 or visit http://www.kenoshacounty.org/.