MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee County has among the highest rates of overdose deaths in Wisconsin, and in the last two years record numbers of emergency calls related to overdoses have been seen.
A Milwaukee County Overdose Dashboard has been created in order to understand the Trends in both Fatal and nonfatal overdoses and inform prevention efforts.
A news release says the Dashboard serves as a resource for community members, organizations, and researchers working to reduce overdoses within the county.
Officials say the Dashboard will serve as a critical resource for the Overdose Public Health and Safety Team (OD-PHAST), a county-level initiative funded under a three-year grant awarded to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office through the U.S. Department of Justice , The Bureau of Justice Assistance, Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP) that aims to:
- Expand the delivery and analysis of near real-time data between multiple public health and public safety partners.
- Utilize both aggregate data and Insights from case reviews to develop and implement strategies and recommendations for changes to reduce the likelihood of future overdose incidents.
- Increase capacity to deliver timely Toxicology findings to public health and public safety partners.
- Enrich understanding of Fatal overdose risk factors through expanded next of kin interviews.
- Connect families affected by overdose, particularly children, to services to mitigate the impact of the trauma experienced.
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From 2014-2020, the opioid overdose fatality rate in Milwaukee County was 30.9 per 100,000 persons, more than twice the Wisconsin rate of 14.8 per 100,000. Deaths involving cocaine were over three times higher at 13.2 per 100,000 persons in Milwaukee County compared to 3.9 per 100,000 persons statewide in the same period. The number of overdose deaths rose 30 percent from 2019 to 2020, and the number of confirmed overdose deaths in 2021 exceeds 600.