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La Crosse police investigating 9 current deadly drug overdoses

La Crosse police are investigating 9 current drug overdose deaths amid considerations {that a} highly effective animal tranquilizer could also be current within the native illicit opioid provide.

The La Crosse Police Division, town’s mayor, Gundersen Well being System and Tri-State Ambulance warned the group Tuesday concerning the excessive variety of deadly overdoses throughout 2023’s first three weeks.

Toxicology studies on these overdose deaths are pending, and it might take weeks to finish, the La Crosse Tribune reported.


However the deaths have raised considerations that the animal tranquilizer xylazine, generally known as “tranq,” might have entered native illicit provides of fentanyl, heroin and cocaine. The tranquilizer can depart customers in an hours-long stupor, and it additionally causes slowed respiratory that interferes with the effectiveness of naloxone, a drugs used to reverse opioid overdoses.

“We would like those that are fighting substance abuse to know there may be presumably a harmful combine right here in our group,” stated Jason Melby, La Crosse’s assistant chief of police.

The ineffectiveness of naloxone in treating the current overdoses highlights the significance of emergency care, reminiscent of supportive respiratory, that may maintain overdose sufferers alive even when the medicine fails, stated Dr. Chris Eberlein with emergency drugs at Gundersen Well being System.

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