There is a dangerous epidemic in Rock County, and it is even in our community. Awareness of the dangers of drug abuse is important to everyone living in our response area. It will take an entire community to keep it from devastating our residents.
Those residents are grandpas and grandmas, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, cousins, nieces, and nephews. If you think you will not be effected by this and/or other drugs you need to think again. Although alcohol is by far the most abused substance in Wisconsin (I will discuss alcohol next week) this week we will focus on drug abuse.
Across the country and in Wisconsin there has been a surge in the use of prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes. The most prevalent category of drug mentioned on death certificates for drug-related deaths in 2015 was “other opioids’” by itself or in combination with other drugs.
A Wisconsin Department of Health Services report from September 2016 documented that drug overdose deaths have increased 70 percent in Wisconsin since 2005, with 872 people dead from drug overdoses in 2015. In Dane County alone, 80 people died of overdose in 2015.
Over prescription of legal opioids like OxyContin and other pain medicines have led to unintended consequences for users. Those exposed to these powerful drugs can become addicted and cause users to continue using drugs beyond the doctor’s prescription.
Legal opioids are often over prescribed and illegal opioids are often easily accessed, causing them to be abused at a higher rate than other drugs. Opioids are also in every drug store and doctor’s office across Wisconsin, and with this availability it is much more likely that people will become dependent.
Addiction to dangerous drugs can happen to anyone regardless of demographic. The majority of overdoses were caused by

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