Overdose Spike Alert: Risk of Drug Overdose Increased in Dane County


Public Health Madison & Dane County is issuing a public health alert due to an increase, or spike, in drug overdoses in our community.

This alert is based on data from hospitals and EMS providers. Over the past two days, paramedics responded to nine incidents involving overdosing patients who needed Narcan. Two people died. This is more overdoses than we usually see in our community.

It is unknown exactly what is driving this spike. It is possible that the make-up of street drugs in our community changed and could include a different mixture of opiates, fentanyl, or other synthetic drugs.

"When we talk about overdose trends and statistics, it's important to remember that every number represents a life. It represents someone's brother, friend, daughter, or neighbor. It represents someone who urgently needs to know this information," said Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway.

First responders, healthcare providers, and people who use drugs and their families should be aware of the increased risk of overdose in our community. Click here to sign up to get email or text alerts about overdose spikes.

“We are seeing more and more of our neighbors struggle with addiction,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “These alerts demonstrate a continued commitment to reducing the number of preventable deaths due to drug-involved overdoses in our community.”
If you use drugs or know someone who does:

  •  Know the signs of an overdose:
    • Pale, sweaty or clammy skin
    • Lips/fingertips turn blue
    • Slow or irregular breathing:  gasping, gurgling, or snoring
    • Difficult or unable to wake
  • Always call 911 if you think someone is overdosing
  • Don’t use street drugs alone; call Never Use Alone at 800-484-3731
  • Check in with your friends/family who use drugs
  • Test all drugs for fentanyl before using
  • Carry Narcan® (naloxone) and be prepared to use multiple doses when  needed
  • Get safer use supplies, like fentanyl test strips and Narcan®, from the Syringe Services Program at Public Health Madison & Dane County: 2705 E. Washington Ave. or 2300 S. Park St. in Madison
  • Contact the Behavioral Health Resource Center of Dane County for treatment and recovery resources: (608) 267-2244
  • Share this alert with others



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