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Politics & Government

Focus On Opioid Crisis Getting Consideration In Madison

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State Representative John Nygren of Marinette has been very open about opioid drugs used by his daughter and the impact that's taken place.

In 2013, Nygren introduced seven bills that laid the foundation for his Heroin, Opioid Prevention and Education or HOPE Agenda.

These bills focused on combating Wisconsin’s heroin epidemic and were passed unanimously by both houses of the Legislature and were signed into law. Nygren recently penned a column in the Wisconsin State Journal saying opioid deaths dropped in 2018, but the struggle to rid the state of illegal drugs is far from over.

A spokesperson for the recovery community in Wisconsin says they continue to lead efforts to know what works when it comes to solutions. Peter Brunzelle is Executive Director WisHope, an organization providing resources, including housing, for people in recovery. He says Nygren wrote the HOPE legislation after working with groups like WisHope. He says a key is finding a place for people to recover...

"...The needs being affordable housing, safe housing for people in recovery, who need to go somewhere after treatment or during, in addition to having that peer-driven support throughout the community..."

Brunzelle says communities need to find the resources to help people in recovery...

"...If we want people to maintain and hold jobs and understand where help is available and there's not a stigma attached to it, we're going to have a lot more people in recovery and that is what the goal is..."

Brunzelle says there's a number of bills coming before the legislature to continue getting more resources to those in need. He says they have links to resources on their website. 

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