Wisconsin News

La Crosse's Heroin Task Force discusses how drug users are getting hooked

Prescription Drug Abuse

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - La Crosse's Heroin Task Force focused its attention Thursday on how people might become hooked on the drug.

The group of community leaders, law enforcement, and medical experts heard from a pair of dentists about how they prescribe pain medication such as vicadin.

The dentists say it's important to find the right balance when determining exactly how many pain pills a patient needs to avoid having leftovers that can fall into the wrong hands. "We need to educate providers and people on being responsible in the use of those drugs, because they can be gateway drugs for other more serious, illicit drugs," said Neighborhood Smiles Dentist Dr. Ryan Yakowicz.

The task force also re-visited one of its top priorities of setting up drug drop-off boxes in the city.

It believes it's one of the safest way for people to dispose of their unwanted medication.

Despite potentially difficult state and federal regulations, they've set up another timeline with hopes of making it happen. "Really kind of a show of commitment from everybody to recognize the hurdles that are there and everybody's still committed to pushing through and making another rally if we can," said task force co-chair Keith Lease.

The task force plans to meet through April with the hope of finding ways to make a dent in the city's rising drug problem.

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