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Heroin deaths rise

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  227 people died from heroin overdoses in Wisconsin last year -- 10-percent more than in 2012. That's according to Gannett Wisconsin Media, which found that overdose deaths skyrocketed over the past seven years. The state only averaged about 30 heroin deaths each year between 2000-and-2007. Last year, more than twice that many died in Milwaukee County alone.

Gannett said 67 people died from overdoses of heroin in the state's most-populated county in 2013 -- up from just nine a decade before. Gannett, which has 10 daily newspapers in Wisconsin's mid-section, said 39 of the state's 72 counties had at least one heroin overdose death last year -- six counties more than in 2012.

Law enforcement officials have said that more addicts turned to heroin after the prescription painkiller Oxy-Contin was reformulated four years ago to make it harder to inject and snort.

The heroin problem in southeast Wisconsin will be examined at a forum on June fourth at Marquette University in Milwaukee.