Death by overdose and suicide are on the rise, according to new numbers from the Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office Thursday.
About 714 were reported dying from suicide or drug overdoses since 2016. Authorities say the vast majority of overdoses, over 84 percent, happened because of opiate drugs, about 441 people.
These numbers compare to 133 people dying from traffic accidents during the same time period, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office.
County Executive Joe Parisi said in a release Thursday:
“Suicides and overdoses are far and away the leading causes of unnecessary death in this county, they’re affecting all ages, community, races, and genders and it is imperative this community come together and put our energy and resources into solutions… Over 700 people have died unnecessarily in just a few years. Hundreds of others are having close calls and remain with us thanks to the quick thinking and use of Narcan and important treatment efforts.”