Heroin use on the rise in Wisconsin

Posted: Friday, June 28, 2013 --- 9:45pm

Heroin use has been on the rise, and it's getting worse.

Lately, heroin use has become common throughout Wisconsin, even more so than cocaine.

"It's pretty addictive so it's hard to cut the habit if you started down the wrong track” says Dr. Matt Lazio.

According to The Wisconsin State Crime Lab around 350 heroin submissions were processed in 2009. Then, just three years later, in 2012, that number nearly doubled.

Lazio says the number of heroin overdoses is also on the rise.

"You're always thinking about are they breathing OK? But, then you also gotta worry about what else did they take?” says Lazio.

The increase in heroin overdoses also means a need for more hospital resources.

"It's a pretty big resource utilization when you have a patient who's overdosed on heroin, because the reversal agents won't last as long as the drugs do, so they often have to monitored in the ER or hospital even for a while” Lazio says.

Sometimes, overdoses can be deadly. If it weren't for the antidote, Narcan, overdose deaths would be higher. Narcan reverse the effects of an overdose, reviving someone in a matter of seconds.

"We use that medicine pretty frequently it saves a lot of people's lives” Lazio says.

Right now, The Wisconsin Department of Justice is trying to tackle to problem. The department just announced a new anti-heroin ad campaign. It's designed to warn teens and young adults about the drug.

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