Medical examiner says La Crosse County on pace for more fatal overdoses than last year

There have been 13 confirmed overdose deaths in La Crosse County so far this year.

LA CROSSE (WKBT) — According to La Crosse County Medical Examiner Tim Candahl, there have been 13 confirmed overdose deaths in La Crosse County in 2022.

There have also been at least 21 suspected overdose deaths that remain under investigation, according to Candahl.

Candahl said the drugs circulating in the La Crosse area are requiring more help from first responders.

“We see a spike in hospital calls, EMS calls,” Candahl said. “Unfortunately our department sometimes picks up on that influx.”

Candahl is still awaiting a toxicology report on the latest batch of potent drugs in La Crosse County. He said most of them are opiate-related and synthetic.

34 people in La Crosse County died of drug overdoses in the year 2021. Candahl added that drug-laced pills have become more of an issue.

“I mean they’re everywhere,” he said.

Emergency medicine physician at Gundersen Health Dr. Chris Eberlein said it could be that addicts are dying alone and that it’s important to find out the cause of the latest increase in overdose deaths.

“We typically are able to find a way to get people into treatment,” Eberlein said.

He added that even if a person is struggling economically, La Crosse County still has resources available.

“Continue to reach out to different avenues, talk to your primary doctor, the county has some great programs as well so we have to keep utilizing these resources and give people the help they need,” Eberlein said.

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