Drug Task Force discusses heroin, prescription drug problem - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Drug Task Force discusses heroin, prescription drug problem


LA CROSSE, WI (WXOW)—The Drug Task Force, a group working to find ways to prevent and treat the drug problem in our area, met this afternoon to hear a presentation from Gundersen Tristate Ambulance.

Tristate uses the drug Narcan to treat overdoses; and they're working on training first responders to administer the drug as well.

They expect to give 200 doses by the end of the year.  In 2007, they had to use Narcan only 43 times.

Tristate said 55-percent of the time a patient's condition improves; 45-percent of the time they see no change.

"The heroin problem we've seen some pretty significant trends," Tom Tornstrom, Director, Tristate said. "About a 36-percent increase in our projected use of the drug to treat heroin in the last four years, so that's a big impact.

Dr. Dean Whiteway told the group, prescription drug abuse is also a problem in the La Crosse area.

54 percent of people abusing prescription drugs admit to getting it from a friend or relative.

He said the best thing we can do to prevent abuse is to keep our prescriptions locked up or properly dispose of them.

The next Medication Drop Off is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 26 from 10am - 2pm at Holmen Village Hall, West Salem Continuing Education Building, Viterbo Fine Arts Parking Lot, Onalaska Police Department, and the La Crosse Hazardous Facility site.

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