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City, county leaders announce steps to reduce heroin overdoses | Crime

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City, county leaders announce steps to reduce heroin overdoses
City, county leaders announce steps to reduce heroin overdoses

City of Madison and Dane County leaders on Monday announced the latest steps under way to tackle the root of heroin usage.

Law enforcement officials are honing in on prescription drugs as the gateway to heroin.

Officials said they hope an expansion of Safe Communities MedDrop locations can help curb the problem with opiates.

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin and Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced Monday they are more than doubling the number of Safe Communities MedDrop locations, from four locations to 10, where residents can get rid of potentially dangerous expired, unused or unwanted medicine.

The new boxes will be at police departments in Cambridge, Deerfield, Madison West District, Mazomanie, McFarland and Waunakee. The four current locations include police stations in Fitchburg, Madison East District, Middleton and Sun Prairie.

"People are used to thinking of heroin addiction as just an urban problem," Parisi said. "But opiate addiction affects everyone. A lot of the car accidents we've seen associated with opiates and heroin addiction is from people driving into Madison, and they're driving into the center of Dane County from more rural areas."

Parisi and Soglin created the Opiates Action Plan in their respective 2012 budgets.

Dane County officials said that last year, poisoning deaths became the county's No. 1 cause of injury-related deaths, killing more Dane County residents than car crashes. Two thirds of poisoning deaths are due to drug overdoses, officials said.

Directions and hours for each of the MedDrop boxes are listed at www.safercommunity.net/MedDrop.



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