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From the Executive Director: Crisis Facts and Resources

By Stacy Eslick | March 2019

As I travel the state talking with school counselors, many of them share heartbreaking stories of the impact that opioid addition is having on their students. As funding for schools has decreased, so have resources for alcohol and drug abuse prevention. We now have Narcan in our schools in case of an overdose, but my question is, what are we doing to help our youth develop coping strategies, critical thinking and informed decision-making skills so they will be less suspectable to addiction as adults?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse we know the following about the opioid crisis in the United States:
  • Roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them.
  • Between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder.
  • An estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin.
  • About 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids.
  • Opioid overdoses increased 30 percent from July 2016 through September 2017 in 52 areas in 45 states.
  • The Midwestern region saw opioid overdoses increase 70 percent from July 2016 through September 2017.
  • Opioid overdoses in large cities increase by 54 percent in 16 states.
According to the last DPI Youth Risk Behavior Survey data, self-reported teen alcohol and drug use is decreasing.

Although recent early intervention and prevention programs for alcohol and drug abuse prevention are limited, there are organizations and resources available.
  • Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development provides a registry of evidence-based positive youth development programs designed to promote the health and well-being of children and teens.
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • Safe Communities of Madison and Dane County is an award-winning nonprofit coalition of over 350 organizations working together to save lives, prevent injury and make our community safer.
  • The Alliance is a program of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Division of Care and Treatment Services, in the Bureau of Prevention Treatment and Recovery. The Alliance’s purpose is to enhance and support the capacity of member coalitions in their substance abuse prevention and youth development work. Over 90 Wisconsin coalitions are members of the Alliance.
  • The State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (SCAODA) enhances the quality of life for Wisconsin citizens by preventing alcohol and other drug abuse and its consequences.