Wisconsin opioid overdoses jump 117% since pandemic began

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MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin health officials say suspected opioid overdoses have increased 117% since the coronavirus pandemic began compared with the same period last year.

Data from Wisconsin emergency departments show 325 suspected overdoses from March to July 13 compared with 150 suspected overdoses over that span in 2019.

State Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm says financial pressures and isolation can exacerbate behavioral and substance abuse problems. DHS officials say calls to the state’s help line indicate requests for information on behavioral health have been increasing as well.

DHS provided several resources including Resilient Wisconsin, which was launched by DHS in April to provide information on how to handle stress and build the ability to recover from adversity.

  • Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline, available 24/7: 211 or 833-944-4673.
    • You can also text your zip code to 898211
  • HOPELINE Text Service, available 24/7: Text HOPELINE to 741741
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, available 24/7: 1-800-273-8255