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RACINE, KENOSHA COUNTIES — The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has announced that $8 million in grants have been awarded statewide for opioid and stimulant treatment services. Among that, $243,107 has been granted to Racine County and $365,214 to Kenosha County.

Through this DHS grant distribution, over 4,000 people throughout Wisconsin will have access to treatment for the problem use of opioids or stimulants between now and September.

Opioids include prescription pain relievers, heroin and fentanyl. Stimulants include cocaine and methamphetamine.

This investment has been made to three tribal nations and 22 county agencies, including Racine and Kenosha Counties. A list of how much money is being distributed to other counties can be found online.

Investing in Opioid and Stimulant recovery

“Improving access to treatment is a critical part of our plan to reduce the hurt and heartbreak caused by the epidemic of problem drug use we’re living with statewide,” said DHS Secretary-designee Kirsten Johnson. “These grants will enable our local partners to remove the financial barriers to effective treatment, allowing more people to experience the promise of recovery. Recovery is possible for everyone.”

The grants listed are based on the level of need for treatment services in the tribal nation or county and the type of treatment services to be provided by each tribal nation and county.

These grant awards are funded by Wisconsin’s nearly $34 million share of the latest installment of the two-year State Opioid Response Grant Program through the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

DHS Racine County and Kenosha County Opioid and Stimulant Treatment Services
Two examples of the Narcan® (Naloxone HCl) treatment medication to stop overdoses. – Credit: Pharmacy Images / Unsplash

The $16.9 million available each year through this program helps to invest in a variety of prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery projects, including the Dose of Reality and Real Talks Wisconsin initiatives; the distribution of NARCAN®, the opioid overdose reversal medication; and a program focused on connecting people who have experienced an overdose with recovery supports in their community.

Since 2017, more than 17,000 people have been connected to services with this annual funding. This is why DHS first used federal grant funding focused on addressing the opioid epidemic to support treatment needs identified by tribal nations and counties. This funding began to cover the costs of stimulant treatment in 2020.

Funding uses

This funding will be used to connect people to proven approaches to treatment. For opioid use disorder, this includes a model of care using one of three Food and Drug Administration-approved medications—buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone—as well as therapy and other recovery supports, per DHS.

According to DHS, for stimulant use disorder, this includes cognitive behavioral therapy and a practice known as the Matrix Model, which includes multiple therapies provided in a highly structured environment, as well as additional recovery supports.

Get help

People interested in learning strategies to build healthy communities are invited to attend the Opioids, Stimulants, and Trauma Summit happening May 16-18, either in person in the Wisconsin Dells or virtually. Registration is required. The registration deadline is May 11. See the agenda and information on how to register.

In addition, visit the Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline’s website or call 211 for information on local treatment and recovery support.

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