Wisconsin county launches program to fight overdose deaths

A southeast Wisconsin county is making the drug used to reduce opioid overdoses more widely available in an attempt to fight opioid overdose deaths.

The Kenosha News reports that Kenosha County’s Narcan Distribution Initiative will train law enforcement officials and others to use the overdose-reversing drug naloxone.

Trained individuals will then be able to distribute naloxone kits to addicts and instruct them on proper usage.

Overdose deaths from prescription drugs and heroin are the leading cause of accidental death in Wisconsin. In Kenosha County, there were 54 toxicity deaths – which includes suicides and accidental overdoses – in 2016, the highest total in at least five years.

Kenosha County Division of Health Director Cynthia Johnson says the program is funded by a five-year grant providing $225,000 a year.