Wisconsin Commits $8 Million To Fund Drug Treatment Statewide
Fallout from the drug epidemic continues to add up across the country and locally. High crime rates, increased mental health and depression, strained families, and - tragically - death rates have been on the rise. And the recent COVID-19 Pandemic didn't help the situation.
Recently, the State of Wisconsin made an investment in helping provide funding for those individuals who are seeking help with treatment.
The state has pledged $8 million in grant money to fund drug treatment programs throughout the state. It's estimated that the dollar amount will provide treatment for approximately 4,000 people in Wisconsin.
Oversight for the treatment money will be provided by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services - with the source funding coming from the $34 million that Wisconsin received from a federal grant program to "address the opioid epidemic" in the state.
The drug treatment money will be available for patients across the substance spectrum, according to details shared in an article in the Superior Telegram [paywall]. In that article, Wisconsin Department of Public Health Director of Opioid Initiatives Paul Krupski says that they've been able to "use the funds to support treatment for opioids like heroin and fentanyl in addition to drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine" in the past.
Krupski explains that the funding will help provide medication-based treatment:
"This will support the evidence-based approach to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder, and that includes all three of the Food and Drug Administration-approved medications - methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone."
The treatment grant money couldn't come at a more significant time for the state Wisconsin "State health officials reported a record 1,427 opioid overdose deaths in 2021". Closer to home in Douglas County, the "Superior Police Department said the city saw 69 overdoses last year, which increased 21 percent from 2021".
Of note is the role that so-called accidental overdoses is playing in those numbers. Because the drugs the users are taking is regulated, the contents and potency varies from purchase to purchase. There is also a growing problem of street drugs being laced with substances like fentanyl.