Gov. Walker announces Wisconsin to receive $7.6M to combat opioid epidemic

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MADISON — Governor Scott Walker on Thursday, April 20th announced Wisconsin will receive more than $7 million in federal money to help combat the opioid epidemic.

According to a news release from the governor’s office, Wisconsin will receive $7.6 million ($7,636,938 in total) in the first year of what is expected to be a two-year grant. In a letter to Governor Walker, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Tom Price said he intends to develop funding allocations and policies that are clinically sound, effective and efficient before funds are released for year two.

“These funds will help fuel our aggressive response to the drug epidemic that is affecting Wisconsin and the nation,” said Governor Walker in the release. “We will continue our work to implement the most effective and efficient practices, aimed at prevention, recovery, and treatment, to bring healing to the individuals, families, and communities overwhelmed by this public health crisis.”

According to the release, the Department of Health Services (DHS) submitted the grant application in February as directed by Governor Walker’s Executive Order #229. DHS will use the funds to support recommendations made in the report by the Governor’s Task Force on Opioid Abuse:

  • Support community coalitions focused on reducing the nonmedical use of opioids among people age 12 to 25.
  • Establish a hotline to provide information on treatment services and recovery supports.
  • Expand access to treatment for uninsured and underinsured individuals.
  • Establish new opioid-specific treatment programs to reduce the distance people have to travel for these services.
  • Establish a network of individuals in long-term recovery from the misuse and abuse of opioids trained to coach people through the treatment and recovery process.
  • Develop training for professionals on proven intervention and treatment strategies for opioid misuse and abuse.