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State Asking Feds For More Money To Fight Opioid Addiction


The state has put in a request to get a share of a $1 billion federal grant to combat opioid addiction.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has applied for nearly $12 million to support the state's response to the crisis.

Paul Krupski is DHS Director of Opioid Initiatives. He talks about what they would do if they get this grant...

"....What it will allow us to do is expand or enhance those projects, fund additional counties, fund additional partners, fund additional tribes whoever that might be to increase our efforts in prevention and recovery across the state...."

The new funding would support projects of the Task Force on Opioid Abuse to reduce the nonmedical used of opioids, reduce opioid overdose related deaths and expand medication assisted-treatment. In the first year of of state involvement, 63 community coalitions received funding from a prior grant.

Krupski says one program has proven effective...

"....What they were able to do is train recovery coaches and partner with hospitals in high-need areas of the state to place these coaches in the emergency department. So when an individual came in on an opioid overdose, the physician or nurse will be able to talk to the individual(with the coach) and give them the warm hand-off and try to meet this individual when it's needed the most...."

Wisconsin recorded more than 1,000 drug overdose deaths in 2016. It's estimated 355,000 people needing substance use treatment are not seeking or receiving treatment.

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