LA CROSS, WI (WXOW) – The last day of August is recognized as International Overdose Awareness Day, a global campaign to end overdose.
Overdose deaths are on the rise, with 26 overdose-related deaths in La Crosse County so far in 2022. This compares to last year’s total of 33.
Sandy Brecke, a senior consultant with the Gundersen Health System’s Department of Public Health, said this was an opportunity to address the whole issue of overdose and its consequences.
“It’s a day to educate and talk about prevention, how we can save lives,” Becke explained. “But it’s also a stigma-free day to honor those who have lost their lives and to support family and friends. The rare families not affected by addiction in any way.”
Brecke said some overdose deaths are caused by illegal street drugs laced with unknown amounts of fentanyl, which is 50 times more potent than heroin.
To help combat that danger, there are several harm reduction services in the La Crosse area that provide access to Nalcan (Naloxone), an emergency recovery drug for opioid overdoses.
According to Brekke, everyone should be educated and prepared to use Narcan.
“Narcan is available without a prescription,” said Brekke. “I know a lot of people who have it, and I know a lot of people who have had to use it. I am working to save the
Brekke added that breathing usually stops in overdose situations. If Narcan is not available, she recommends that she immediately call 9-11 and begin artificial respiration until rescue arrives.
Continue reading about WXOW coverage international overdose awareness day.
If you or someone you know is struggling, there are local resources available.
Here are some lists:
Have an idea for a story?tell us here