Kenosha County warns of increase in fentanyl-related overdoses after 14-year-old dies
KENOSHA COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Kenosha County is trying to educate people on fentanyl-related overdoses after a 14-year-old died earlier this month.
The teenager overdosed on July 2. Further testing from the medical examiner's office shows the drug he took was laced with fentanyl.
"It's tragic. It's heartbreaking," Lt. Joseph Nosalik said.
"I've been here almost 24 years and in my recent memory, 14 is the youngest," he said.
According to Kenosha police, there were 16 fentanyl-related overdose deaths in Kenosha County in 2019. In 2021, that number jumped to 40. So far this year there have been 16, and Lt. Nosalik expects that number to exceed 40 just in the coming weeks.
"The amount of fentanyl it takes to kill a person is so minuscule," he said.
He said most of the drugs the special investigations unit recovers is now laced with fentanyl.
"If it didn't come from a pharmacy and it's not prescribed to you, it has fentanyl in it," Lt. Nosalik said.
Kari Foss works for the Kenosha County Division of Aging Disability and Behavioral Health. She said they have pulled data from local law enforcement and the medical examiner's officer to look at where fentanyl overdoses are the most common.
"There is no common theme. There is no common denominator. When we look at the heat map, it is every area," Foss said.
The county is focusing on doing outreach in these area with a program called "Human Services On The Go." It provides free Narcan and Narcan training to anyone that needs it. She said this training is especially important after the 14-year-old died.
"This effort has to be linear. It cannot be circular. It's forcing all of us in county government to reflect on what have we done and what can we continue to do differently," Foss said.
"Human Services On The Go" will take place Friday, July 29, at the Alliance Women's Clinics in Kenosha from 2-5 p.m. There will also be another event on Aug. 3 at the ELCA Outreach Center in Kenosha from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.