DODGE COUNTY — The opioid epidemic has gotten worse throughout the pandemic in Dodge County.
We are looking at how a coalition is there working to change that.
Dodge County’s Public Health Officer Abby Sauer says last year 26 people in Dodge County died from an overdose. In 2019, it was 14.
“People don't need to die from this,” said Sauer.
The county shot up to the third worst county in the state for opioid related deaths, averaging more than 30 deaths per 100,000 people in 2020.
That is why leaders in the county helped create Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention of Dodge County.
The coalition is behind Dose of Reality billboards. Jessica Garcia of Sirona Recovery and Treatment Center says they have also given out medication safety lock boxes. “Just to kind of give our youth to stop and think why they would be doing that," said Garcia.
They believe stopping kids from making the wrong choices is the key to stopping the crisis. Sauer says this is why they map out key areas around the county. “Our parks where there's lots of good things going on, to say 'okay here's where we can build the environment.' We look at where the gaps are," said Sauer.
Which includes the prevention of synthetic drugs.
The community is invited next month to a community round table. They hope to continue the conversation of stopping this deadly epidemic.