WAUKESHA, Wis. – Waukesha County community leaders gathering today to announce new efforts to help curb the opioid crisis.
There were 79 people who died of a suspected drug overdose in Waukesha County last year. This past June, 4 people overdosed in the span of one week triggering a public health alert from the Department of Health Services.
Waukesha County received a $200,000 grant in May to help with the expansion of useful resources needed to boost the substance abuse prevention campaign. Fentanyl, the synthetic opioid used for treating severe pain, is a key topic of discussion. The drug is about 50 to 100 times stronger than the painkiller morphine, according to the CDC. About 62 people in Waukesha County died specifically from a fentanyl overdose last year, and 95 died from it the year before.
Waukesha County Sheriff Eric Severson said most of the drugs are “flowing for the southern border.”
Narcan training is an essential feature of the county’s plan. About 4,800 people have received the training with around 1,000 of the participants being members of law enforcement. Other resources include a pilot program in which mental health professionals are sent to emergencies in “real-time,” peer support and school programs.
Erin Rachwal is the mother of overdose victim Logan Rachwal. She and her husband cofounded an initiative called “Love, Logan” where the focus lies in “expanding the knowledge” on fentanyl.