Crime

Chief: 'Particularly toxic batch' of heroin causes spike in overdoses, deaths

MADISON, Wis. - A "particularly toxic" batch of heroin is circulating the Madison area this week causing a spike in overdoses, Madison's police chief said. 

Chief Mike Koval wrote in his blog Friday that the drug is likely the reason for the sudden rise in overdoses -- 11 that police responded to between Feb. 7 and Friday -- that killed two people. 

He said loved ones of people suffering from heroin addiction are encouraged to monitor them and assist them in avoiding situations that could result in an overdose. 

"In situations when people cannot avoid using, it is encouraged they do not use alone," Koval wrote. 

There were 11 known overdoses in the area in January, which was a decrease from the same time period in 2018, police said. In January, there were three suspected deaths from heroin overdoses, which represents an increase from one overdose death in January 2018. 

Officers also referred seven people last month to the Madison Addiction Recovery Initiative, or MARI, program in January, according to the blog.

 

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