Drug overdoses, particularly from prescription opioids and heroin, are among the major causes of preventable death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Fond du Lac County is not immune from that trend. In fact, it continues to see an increase in opioid and heroin abuse. The numbers are staggering. In 2014, the City of Fond du Lac Fire Department alone saw an increase in suspected overdose calls of 30 percent. In 2014, Fond du Lac paramedics administered Narcan to 26 individuals in life-threatening situations. The drug resuscitated 23 overdose victims. Compare that to 13 in 2013.
To address this rising trend, a coalition of individuals, agencies and organizations is bringing "Rise Together" to Fond du Lac County on Wednesday, April 29, to shed light on issues associated with addiction and recovery. The program is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Fond du Lac School Performing Arts Center, 801 Campus Drive. The event is free and open to the public. The program will feature leaders from the City of Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac County District Attorney, Eric Toney as well as parent Bridgett Henschel.
"Rise Together" is the story of second chances for two men from Northeastern Wisconsin. Douglas Darby and Anthony Alvarado, both recovering addicts, will share how they went from rock bottom to recovery.
"The abuse of heroin and opiods is one of the most critical issues facing our community. The transition between heroin and opioids is when a person has lost that opioid supply and heroin is easy to come by, on the street and a fraction of the cost." City of Fond du Lac Police Chief and Drug Free Communities of Fond du Lac County member Bill Lamb said.
Other speakers will provide updates on the state of the community. In addition to District Attorney Eric Toney and City of Fond du Lac Police Chief Bill Lamb, City of Fond du Lac Assistant Chief Todd Janquart will present. Bridgett Henschel will also share "A Parent's Story." Information resources will be available in the lobby prior to the event, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
For more information on local efforts for prescription medication disposal and what you can do to reduce prescription drug abuse in Fond du Lac County, visit the Drug Free Communities website at drugfreefdl.com, call (920) 906-6700 ext 4704, or find them on Facebook.