High drug use in Vilas County was presented to the county board (Nov 14) showing from 2013-14 they ranked sixth in opioid death rates, fifth in nalozone ambulance runs, fourth in arrests for illegal opioid and cocaine drug arrests and second in opioid prescriptions dispensed.
UW-Extension Youth Development Agent Nancy Miller and Bob Kovar showed opioid trends have become more severe with one doctor, not in our area, gave our prescriptions to 5,500 persons. In our three county area, Vilas had 90 drug related hospitalizations in 2012 rising to 95 in 2014.
During the same period, Forest went from 32 to 36 and Oneida from 108 to 88. Kovar urged Vilas to join 28 other Wisconsin counties in a civil action against pharmaceutical companies filed in federal court. County corporation counsel Jack Albert said while there may be no up-front costs, there could be future costs documenting loss. Albert indiated the lawsuit alleges false claims by drug companies through deceptive marketing campaigns to doctors.
Vilas County may discuss forming a drug prevention committee after next Aprils election.