Medical Examiner's Son Dies of Drug Overdose

'No family is immune,' Wis. senator says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2016 2:58 AM CDT
A small bottle of the opiate overdose treatment drug, naloxone, also known by its brand name Narcan, is shown.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans,file)
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(Newser) – There have been more than 160 drug-related deaths in Milwaukee County, Wis., this year, 70 of them in the last seven weeks, and that is more than just a grim statistic for Chief Medical Examiner Brian Peterson. His own son, Adam Peterson, a 29-year-old with a history of drug use, was found on the floor of a friend's apartment Monday and was pronounced dead after failing to respond to anti-overdose drug Narcan, WISN reports. Brian Peterson, who has asked for privacy, told a conference earlier this month that his office was dealing with more overdose deaths than murders, car accident deaths, and sleep-related infant deaths combined, the Journal Sentinel reports.

"We had a 1-year-old found dead on a mattress of methadone poisoning," Peterson told the round table. "Unfortunately, that's not uncommon either." He described medical examiners as "kind of the last responders," whose job it is "to help with clean data to help everybody understand." "I was sitting at the same table as Brian two weeks ago in Milwaukee discussing the trail of tragedies and heartbreak that addiction leaves in its wake," Sen. Ron Johnson tells the Journal Sentinel. "No family is immune. My prayers go out to Brian and his family at this time. I will continue to fight this fight for all those who have lost loved ones." (This small city in West Virginia had to deal with 27 overdoses in less than five hours.)

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