Two people in Rice Lake died last week in suspected drug overdoses, according to the Rice Lake Police Department.

A 36-year-old female was found unresponsive at a West Coleman Street residence at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 30. Life saving measures by officers and paramedics were unsuccessful.

A 40-year-old male was found deceased at 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 1, at a West Slocumb Street residence.

Initial investigation in both cases show a drug overdose as the likely cause of death.

The investigation into both deaths and the origin of the illegal narcotics is ongoing. Officers are investigating whether or not the two deaths are related. Samples of the suspected narcotics from both incidents are being sent to the state crime lab for testing. Autopsies for both individuals are pending.

Police were releasing no further information as of press time Tuesday, Oct. 5.

Responders to these incidents included the Rice Lake police and fire departments and the Marshfield Medical Center ambulance.

In a recent Town Hall forum on methamphetamine and other drugs, Barron County officials said drug cases have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, which stalled some preventative efforts. Illicit drugs have also become more dangerous, as they can be laced with other dangerous substances like fentanyl. Injecting meth and other drugs is also become more common, increasing the risks.

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