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The drug naloxone flushes the brain of opiates, instantly reversing a heroin overdose.  

The heroin epidemic is taking its toll on Madison.

Through August, there have been 33 heroin overdose deaths in the city, a 120 percent increase over the same time frame in 2017, Police Chief Mike Koval said in his daily blog on Wednesday.

"There were 36 known overdoses in August, matching the record for overdoses in one month, back in October of 2017," Koval said.

So far in 2018, 211 heroin overdose cases have been reported, a 48 percent increase from the 142 overdoses through August in 2017.

"The Madison Police Department continues to refer subjects to Madison Addiction Recovery Initiative," Koval said. "In August, we referred eight individuals and six are currently in treatment."

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Bill Novak is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.