The state of Wisconsin is in emergency mode to stop the trend of young people ranging in age from '20-'40s dying in record numbers. The study from the Centers for Disease Control pointed out that older residents in the state are dying at a slower rate than 20 years ago, but the younger population's mortality rate has increased dramatically from 2001 to 2021.

Covid-19 is one reason but the main culprit is opioids, specifically fentanyl.  Desilynn Smith, clinical director at Gateway to Change, a treatment center in Milwaukee said she has seen an increase in patients in that age range and even younger. She went on to say as reported by The Madison Times:

I’ve had about a 60% increase in clients between 19 and 30 over the past two years, and I don’t see it easing up. She blames the increase in addiction and deaths on fentanyl. What makes fentanyl so dangerous, she said, is that most people aren’t aware they’re using it. It’s not fentanyl alone. It’s fentanyl mixed with cocaine and other drugs.

Overdose deaths in Wisconsin were well over the halfway rate for those individuals in this younger demographic, and there were 1,100 more overdose deaths in 2021 than in 2001. Smith has a very personal reason to try and fight this epidemic, she lost her husband in 2021 to a fentanyl overdose and has been on a mission to make people aware that drugs like cocaine may contain fentanyl and people are not even aware of it.

According to " Done correctly, lacing illicit drugs with fentanyl often creates a return stream of customers because fentanyl is considered highly addictive. This is why fentanyl is often found in drugs like cocaine, counterfeit Xanax, counterfeit Adderall, or other drugs not classified as opioids."

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