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The original item was published from 12/31/2023 10:50:10 AM to 1/4/2024 8:43:46 AM.

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Medical Examiner's Office

Posted on: December 31, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Medical Examiner’s Office responds to recent string of suspected overdose deaths

Graphic with text: "MEDICAL EXAMINER'S ADVISORY: SUSPECTED OVERDOSE DEATHS"

Kenosha County Medical Examiner Patrice Hall is again warning the public about the dangers of illegal drug use after a recent spate of suspected overdose deaths.

Hall’s office has responded to nine of these cases in a recent 12-day period, including three on Saturday, Dec. 30.

The deceased individuals have ranged in age from late-20s to mid-50s, and the deaths have occurred in various locations in the City of Kenosha and west of Interstate 94, Hall said.

A variety of substances are believed to be involved in these deaths, including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, and counterfeit prescription pills. The exact cause of each death will not be known until toxicology results become available, which often takes months, Hall said.

“I can’t stress enough how great of a risk people are taking if they use illegal drugs and counterfeit pills,” Hall said. “Substances of all sorts are being laced with fentanyl, which can be deadly when used even in small amounts. If you obtain drugs illegally, you truly do not know what you are getting.”

Hall noted that help is available and recovery is possible for people struggling with substance use. 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 Behavioral Health Resource Center at 262-764-8555. More information about the Kenosha County Substance Abuse Coalition and its work is available at https://www.kenoshacounty.org/2295/Save-Lives-Kenosha.

“One life lost is too many, and there are resources available that can save lives,” Hall said. “I encourage people to be aware of what is available.”

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 narcan@kenoshacounty.org. 
  • 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 Behavioral Health 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 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, at 262-657-7188. 

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