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Medical Examiner's Office: Cocaine deaths on the rise in Milwaukee County

MILWAUKEE COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The number of people dying from suspected drug overdoses continues a grim trend across Wisconsin.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office has recorded 79 drug-related deaths this year.

Opioids play a role in most of the county's overdose deaths which have almost doubled since 2013.

Cocaine-related deaths almost tripled in Milwaukee County between 2013 and 2017, jumping from about 50 to more than 140 cases.

The ME's Office says synthetic opioids are doing the most damage.

"When they're exposed to something very potent like an opioid like heroin or fentanyl, their at great risk for toxicity," said Sara Schreiber, Forensic Technical Director. "Just that one-time exposure can be very fatal to them."

In 2017, out of roughly cocaine-related deaths, more than 100 involved an opioid. 

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