Wisconsin DOJ working to stop drug epidemic

Wisconsin Department of Justice is working to stop drug epidemic
Wisconsin Department of Justice is working to stop drug epidemic(WSAW)
Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 6:24 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Wisconsin Department of Justice says the drug epidemic did not stop during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This comes from DOJ’s Forensic Sciences 2020 Annual Report.

Fentanyl accounted for 8% of the drugs identified at DOJ’s three locations in Madison, Milwaukee and Wausau last year. This is compared to 2015 where zero fentanyl was identified.

Six fatal drug overdoses and 14 drug-related deaths have been reported in Marathon County last year, according to the Marathon County Medical Examiner’s Office. Most of those overdoses included drugs laced with fentanyl.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul says they are working to identify more fentanyl-laced drugs.

“What happens with fentanyl often is that it is mixed with other drugs,” Kaul explained, “so, there’s usually a larger quantity of another drug and that can be easy to identify,”

Kaul says his office will adapt to liquid chromatography over their current use of gas chromatography, which will allow them to detect more fentanyl in the drugs they analyze.

“If our crime labs can identify specifically that there’s fentanyl in that mixture and they have the technology that allows them to capture that and they don’t just capture the other drug that may be making up a larger quantity,” he explained, “that helps us know and relay to law enforcement, that fentanyl made be the cause of overdoses.”

Kaul says this will also help law enforcement charge people with the more appropriate drug-related crimes by identifying fentanyl in the drugs.

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