Beloit police report spike in overdose deaths in the past week

A spike in the number of overdoses involving Fentanyl are being reported in Rock County, causing officials to build awareness about the dangerous drug.
Updated: Mar. 28, 2023 at 10:40 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A spike in the number of overdoses involving Fentanyl is being reported in Rock County, causing officials to continue to build awareness about the dangerous drug.

“We’ve had three all year long, two within the last week,” said Beloit Police Captain Chris Eberhardt. “We most commonly see Fentanyl all overdoses in our heroin lately in the last week as we see overdoses associated with crack cocaine use and with normal base cocaine use.”

The City of Beloit Police Department said there had been two deaths where it is believed Fentanyl was ingested and caused them. Fentanyl can often be mixed with other drugs, and BPD said it could even be disguised as crack cocaine and cocaine. Eberhardt says the department typically sees the drug combined with heroin, but during the spike over the past week, cocaine is the vehicle to deliver the dangerous drug.

“I would assume any drug you’re not getting from a pharmacy or a licensing medical practitioner that there is a chance there may be Fentanyl in them,” said Eberhardt.

In the past week, he says another five people survived overdoses believed to be tied to Fentanyl. According to Brooke McKearn, a prevention specialist at Vivent Health, research shows roughly 80% of cocaine in Rock County Is laced with Fentanyl. She says they are trying to combat the spike in the recent week by getting information and resources out across the city.

“We all got together and put together these hope kits; inside the Hope kits are Narcan, Fentanyl test strips, a resource card,” said McKearn. “I think being proactive is the best thing that you can do; in March, I have 37 reported saves.”

She says Vivent Health, Rock County Human Services, and the Beloit Police Department put the kits together, putting them everywhere, from libraries to gas stations, trying to place the kits in highly frequented areas. BPD is also putting in extra work to combat the rise in overdoses. Eberhardt says the department is investigating survived cases of overdose, trying to get to the source of the drugs.

“We’re really pushing out to investigate those cases where people are surviving the overdose, we can often get more details, and we can start cracking down and trying to figure out where these drugs are coming from,” said Eberhardt.

For a resource, you can find more information and contact specialists at viventhealth in Beloit.

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