DELAVAN — In an effort to educate community members on the dangers of heroin and related drugs, a coalition of county and law enforcement officials are hosting a free public seminar about the lethal narcotics at Delavan-Darien High School the evening of Wednesday, May 27.
An all-school assembly with Delavan-Darien High School students and Phoenix Middle School eighth graders kicks off the day’s activities, which will focus on the dangers of a growing heroin problem in Wisconsin and Walworth County.
Students will hear from:
- Jeff Patek, of the Walworth County Drug Unit, and Detective Chris Kohl of the Waukesha County Metro Drug Enforcement Unit.
- Walworth County District Attorney Dan Necci.
- Katie Behl, treatment coordinator for the Walworth County OWI and Drug Treatment Court.
- A representative from the State Public Defender’s Office.
- A representative from the Walworth County Department of Health and Human Services.
- A former heroin addict, the family of a recovering addict, and the family of a heroin addict who lost their battle with addiction. Each will share their story about the drug.
The public evening session will feature the same lineup of speakers in a much more in-depth presentation on how heroin and other opium-based drugs are not miles away from Walworth County, but are here in the Southern Lakes area, said Behl, the event’s planner.
A free public informational fair at 6 p.m. in the DDHS commons precedes the event. The summit starts at 6:30 p.m. in the DDHS auditorium, 150 Cummings St., Delavan.
County officials feel that with the rise of heroin use in the area, the time was right to educate more people about its dangers.
“There’s just no two ways about it. Heroin is here in Walworth County,” Necci said. “Education is a vital component to battling this plague upon our community. I encourage all Walworth County residents, and especially parents, to attend this important event.”
IF YOU GO
Heroin/Related Drug Information Fair and Summit
- 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday, May 27
- at Delavan-Darien High School
- 150 Cummings St., Delavan, WI 53115
- Attendees needing ASL or language interpretation services should call 262-741-7039 or 262-741-7015
Hear from: Police investigators, district attorney, public defenders, drug treatment court officials, families and individuals coping with heroin addiction and more.
Walworth County Heroin/Related Drug Statistics
- Walworth County is one of 12 Wisconsin counties to have 30 or more heroin cases analyzed by the State Crime Lab.
- The number of Walworth County heroin cases analyzed by the State Crime Lab has been increasing:
- 2009: 5
- 2010: 12
- 2011: 11
- 2012: 24
- 2013: 16
- 2014: 31
- There were seven heroin-related deaths in Walworth County in 2013, double what it was the previous five years.
- Walworth County is No. 6 in the state for number of heroin deaths (2013 data), and its deaths-to-population ratio is close to that of Milwaukee and Dane counties.
|County||Heroin-related deaths||Residents||Deaths: Population Ratio|
- Geographically, Walworth County sits near larger, more urban areas — Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Kenosha, Janesville, Beloit, Chicago, Rockford, Ill. — which are often the source for heroin and other drugs. The drugs can find their way through and into the county’s cities, villages and towns.
Other Heroin Information
- Heroin use often starts with abuse of a prescription painkiller found in a medicine cabinet at home. On average, painkiller abuse starts two years before heroin use. Users turn to heroin when it’s easier to get than prescription pills. Nationally, 25 percent of high school seniors report they could easily obtain heroin.
- Today’s heroin is more lethal than ever because it’s:
- More Pure: In 1980, heroin was only 4% pure; heroin today is 40% pure.
- Stronger: Today’s heroin is so strong that users can get high by merely snorting or smoking it.
- More addictive: Purer and stronger heroin means more addictive heroin. One in four people who use heroin become addicted.
- Teens whose parents talk with them regularly about the dangers of drugs are 42% less likely to use drugs than those whose parents do not. Parents will learn more about talking to their children about drugs at the summit.
(Data Source: Walworth County OWI and Drug Treatment Court)