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Wisconsin Department of Health Services issues Public Health Advisory for fentanyl

Department of Health Services

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is warning the public of an increased risk of death with illicit drug use.

It has issued a Public Health Advisory.

DHS says it’s seen an increase in the number of deaths caused by drugs laced with synthetic substances, especially fentanyl.

Fentanyl is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and up to 100 times stronger than morphine.

People who manufacture illegal drugs use fentanyl to make other drugs more powerful and less expensive to make.

Fentanyl can be added to pills, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, and other drugs.

It doesn’t take much to cause an overdose.

Dr. Jasmine Zapata is the Chief Medical Officer in the DHS Bureau of Community Health Promotion.

She shared one of the stories she heard from parents whose children died of overdoses.

“The story that one mother shared was just so heartbreaking. Sharing how her own son who was in a college campus thought he was taking a Percocet pill. It ended up being a fake pill. It was filled with fentanyl. He died in front of his friends,” said Zapata.

DHS is encouraging people to use fentanyl test strips.

This allows people to test the drug their using for fentanyl.

To get test strips you can call the Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline at 211 or learn more at DHS’s Dose of Reality website.

“Fentanyl is very hard to detect. It can’t be smelled, tasted, or even seen. That makes it easy to be placed in other types of drugs without a user’s knowledge,” said Zapata.

The Public Health Advisory was issued the same day Governor Evers and Attorney General Kaul called out the Republican controlled Joint Finance Committee.

The Democrats are upset the committee has delayed a plan to use $31 million in opioid settlement money to fight the opioid epidemic.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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