Heroin Overdoses Spiking in Winnebago County
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
WINNEBAGO COUNTY--Heroin overdoses are spiking in Winnebago County. Now law enforcement agencies are joining forces to combat the problem.
A billboard off Highway 41 and Highway 26 in Oshkosh targets drug dealers and users. Officers put up the billboard in that spot because they tell us most of the heroin is coming from bigger cities like Milwaukee and Chicago. They want the message clear--you will get locked up.
Every time Randy Passow goes for a ride, he sees the threat.
"I'm glad to see they're trying to take steps to try to stop the drugs from coming into our area," Passow said.
From billboards to posters--it's part of the work of Town of Menasha officer Jason Weber. After seeing file after file of heroin overdoses in Winnebago County, he's had enough.
"The message I think that really needs to be sent to these heroin users and heroin dealers is we're going to get you," Weber said.
Winnebago County Coroner Barry Busby says heroin overdoses are rising. From 1997 to 2002 the county averaged five overdoses a year. And just last year, 27 people died.
"We had seven people die in the 20 year age bracket, then seven in the 30 year age bracket, six in the 40 year age bracket, and five in the 50's, and two in the 60's," Busby said.
But Passow believes the billboard could stop users in their tracks.
"We can hope that it gets the message across," Passow said.
Emergency crews use Narcan to help reverse a heroin overdose. The Winnebago County Coroner tells us last year about 111 people were saved.