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Health

Opioid Deaths Down For First Time In Several Years

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Joint Base San Antonio submitted photo
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State health officials are saying 838 deaths from opioids were reported in 2018, but that number is a 10 percent reduction from the previous year.

Opioid deaths are at their lowest level since 2015 according to the most recent data collected by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS).

DHS Director of Opioid Initiatives Paul Krupski says one year of fewer deaths does not necessarily mean a trend, but he is encouraged...

"...It takes more than one year to consider something a trend, but we're cautious and we're encouraged in seeing that result. And believing that all the efforts the state has invested in are making the impact we've been striving for...."

A new online tool known as Data Direct: Opioids, contains up-to-date information collected by the state on adult opioid usage, youth opioid usage, opioid hospitalizations, and opioid-related deaths. Users can change the visuals to display the information by year, drug type, age, sex, and race...

"...Having done this for multiple years, we're encouraged that all this effort is having is making a difference and an impact and achieving the number one goal we're striving for is reducing the number of opioid deaths in Wisconsin..."

An estimated 1 in 6 Wisconsin adults were prescribed and used an opioid in the past year. Hospital emergency room visits for all opioid-related overdoses in Wisconsin increased from 2014 to 2018 by 64 percent.

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