MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office is dealing with 71 possible drug overdoses in the past seven weeks. The medical examiner's 29-year-old son is one of those possible overdoses.
"We clearly saw this issue building," said Kathy Schmitz, Executive Director of the Medical Society of Milwaukee.
Kathy Schmitz with the Medical Society of Milwaukee says the battle against opiate use and overdoses is something she's seen building for years now -- and something they're subsequently taking an active effort in trying to put a stop to.
"To really help change legislation, policy, prescribing practices, offering c and m credits, mandatory to physicians, and really helping educate physicians on this issue," said Schmitz.
One thing they are learning...
"Unfortunately drug addiction and specifically narcotic addiction is an equal opportunity afflictor -- it actually can affect anybody in any socio-economic class, any race," said Dr. Michael McNett, Medical Society of Milwaukee, Opioid Task Force Member, pain management physician.
On Monday, September 12th, police were called to the area of 28th and Clybourn for an unconscious 29-year-old man. He was found unresponsive by a friend, lying in vomit.
Paramedics administered the drug Narcan, but despite that and other life-saving efforts, the man was pronounced dead -- and the medical examiner office was called.
The man turns out to be the medical examiner's son, Adam Peterson. The cause of death: probable overdose.
Just one of more than 70 in a seven week period in Milwaukee County, that's almost two per day.
Experts say they don't believe the crisis has peaked yet. They also say all eyes are on Wisconsin right now for how the state is handling it -- and its current joint efforts between law enforcement, state and local government, and community involvement.