Now that we are into 2014, Marathon County is taking a look at just how bad our local drug problem got last year, and what they found is startling. The number of people who died from these deadly drugs, more than doubled.
In 2013, there were 16 drug related deaths in Marathon county, in 2012, there were only six. Marathon County's medical examiner says the increase all comes down to the fact that more people are using drugs. She says 13 people died from overdoses last year on drugs like heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and prescription drugs. The other three died from incident where drugs were the contributing factor.
The victims range in age from under 18, to over 50 and there were no social or economic patterns between them. The medical examiner said the increase is very alarming.
"I think its a shock to everyone to see numbers double in over a year, that's a huge shock, just looking at some of the other statistics," said Jessica Blahnik, "45% of all of our accidental deaths last year were all attributed to drugs or alcohol alone. and that's a scary thing because these are preventable deaths."
She says the best thing you can do to combat the issue, besides continued education, is to talk to those you know are struggling with addiction, and try to get them the help they need.
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