Wisconsin opioid deaths hit another record high in 2021

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Wisconsin’s opioid overdose deaths rose once more final yr, eclipsing a earlier report from 2020. 

There have been 1,427 opioid-related deaths within the state in 2021, officers with the Wisconsin Division of Well being Companies confirmed, a 16 p.c enhance over 2020 and a 70 p.c enhance over the variety of deaths in 2018.

The state’s spike in opioid deaths mirrors nationwide traits. Wisconsin’s Director of Opioid Initiatives Paul Krupski believes social isolation, nervousness and stress from the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the disaster.

“Many people struggled with wholesome coping expertise to cope with these issues that many had by no means needed to cope with earlier than,” Krupski stated Friday. “And so sadly, these lack of wholesome coping expertise, in lots of instances, result in people turning to substance use to manage.”

In 2020, Wisconsin recorded 1,227 opioid-related deaths, which was 311 extra deaths than in 2019. 

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Krupski blames the rising prevalence of fentanyl, a robust man-made opioid that is generally subscribed as a painkiller, however can also be present in unlawful medicine like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and counterfeit tablets.

The overwhelming majority — or practically 1,300 — of Wisconsin’s opioid related-deaths in 2021 concerned artificial opioids, and most often that was fentanyl, Krupski stated.

“Fentanyl is discovered all through your complete drug provide,” he stated. “It is actually not like something that we have ever, ever seen earlier than.”

Earlier this yr, Wisconsin’s Gov. Tony Evers signed laws that decriminalized fentanyl take a look at strips, which had beforehand been categorized as drug paraphernalia. Wisconsin’s well being division has distributed about 150,000 of the strips to suppliers throughout the state, Krupski stated. 

To be related with assets for coping with dependancy, name 2-1-1 or go to 211wisconsin.communityos.org.

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