Overdoses in Madison in July more than double from a year ago

MADISON (WKOW) — Overdoses more than doubled in July compared to a year ago, according to a blog post today from Madison Police Chief Mike Koval.

There were 30 known overdoses in July 2018 compared to July 2017 when there were 13 known overdoses, an increase of 130 percent.

Through the end of July, the year-to-date number of reported overdoses is 174; a 59 percent increase from the same time last year when there were 109 reported overdoses, according to Koval.

Two people died in July due to suspected overdoses, Koval wrote.

There have been a total of 28 suspected deaths from heroin overdoses so far this year through the end of July, double the number a year ago.

Officers identified 11 people who were eligible for, and referred them to the Madison Addiction Recovery Initiative (MARI) in July. 

"I believe that our officers are going to great lengths to be on the lookout for eligible participants that can be referred to treatment," Koval wrote. "Subjects who have drug addiction problems often commit crimes (retail theft, burglary) in order to support their habit.  When in contact with these suspects, officers go the extra mile by building rapport and trust with these individuals hoping to establish a nexus between the criminal behavior and the need for drugs.  When this can be established, instead of arresting the subject individuals can be referred to MARI for treatment and another chance at life (as long as they meet the conditions for treatment)."

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