MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A state lawmaker comes to speak in Milwaukee about a very personal family matter and how he is dealing with it. State Representative John Nygren is instrumental in state legislation helping fight drug addiction.
For Nygren, heroin and prescription pill addiction is a day-to-day struggle. A lifelong fight for his 25-year-old daughter, Cassie. At the end of September, Cassie Nygren was arrested for possession of narcotics and an illegal prescription. She has been convicted of drug possession twice before.
John Nygren wasn't going to bail her out again.
"Right now she's in a treatment program in the Green Bay area. I didn't bail her out, somebody else did. One of the things you learn over the years is enabling the behavior is not helpful even though you want to as a parent, and you want to show them the love you have for them," said Nygren.
Nygren drafted seven drug related bills signed into law by Governor Walker last April. Nygren is speaking to a group of medical professionals who gathered at the Harley-Davidson Museum to learn more about pain management and the risks of opiates.
"With a good thorough history and an examination diagnostic workup we're able to weed out the genuine patients looking for a solution to their pain. Opioid addiction, abuse and unnecessary deaths has become an epidemic," said Dermot More-O'Ferrall, with Advanced Pain Management.
"It's multiple levels of a responsibility here. I'm the chairman of the budget committee in the state of Wisconsin as well, so I see the dollars we spend on corrections and a lot of them spend on drug offenses and the recidivism rate on those crimes is almost 100%. So what we're doing right now isn't working so we have to look for ways that can help not only our state and our finances, but to help the addicts become taxpayers instead of draining our resources," said Nygren.
The hope is those with the ability to prescribe and those with the means to change laws can work together on a problem so large, no family is immune.