A sign at the entrance to the Bad River Reservation in Wisconsin. Photo: Royalbroil
Law | National

Tribes sound alarms about rise in heroin overdose cases in Wisconsin

Two tribes are warning their citizens about recent overdoes from heroin in northern Wisconsin.

The Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians issued a warning on February and the Lac du Flambeau Band followed up a day later. Both tribes linked the overdoses to a "toxic and strong dose of heroin" in the region.

Stacy Stone, the Lac du Flambeau Band's state of emergency coordinator, told The Lakeland Times that the tribe was "being proactive" by warning people about the recent incidents.

According to the tribes, the heroin has appeared as a "white powdery substance" and been called "Batman" or "China White." It could be linked to fentanyl, an opioid that is known for being especially potent.

Both tribes are among the many in Indian Country dealing with the opioid epidemic. The Bad River Band declared a "public health emergency" last November in response to a rise in substance abuse.

The Lac du Flambeau Band has also seen problems with opioids and methamphetamine. A recent murder can be linked to drugs and gang activity, according to the tribe.

Elsewhere in Wisconsin, the St. Croix Chippewa Indians is suing the drug companies for not doing enough to address the crisis. At least seven other tribes are doing the same.

Read More on the Story:
Bad River overdose cases prompt notice from LdF tribe (The Lakeland Times March 6, 2018)

Related Stories:
Lac du Flambeau Band ties recent murder to gangs and drug dealers (February 15, 2018)
Tribes continue battles against drug companies amid a setback in court (January 17, 2018)
Albert Bender: Wisconsin police kill 14-year-old indigenous boy on his own homeland (December 12, 2017)
Bad River Band declares 'emergency' to address substance abuse on reservation (November 8, 2017)