January 4, 2018
Jennifer Miller, 608-266-1683
Elizabeth Goodsitt, 608-266-1683

DHS Announces New Substance Use Treatment Options in High-Need Areas

Four grants issued to expand services for treatment of opioid and methamphetamine addiction

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has awarded grants to four organizations to establish treatment services for opioid and methamphetamine addictions in areas of the state most in need of help.

“Accessible addiction services are a vital part of our plan to treat Wisconsin’s opioid and methamphetamine problems,” said DHS Secretary Linda Seemeyer. “People who are struggling with the chronic disease of addiction need supports close to home to help them manage their recovery. This investment moves us closer to our vision of everyone living their best life.”

DHS intends to contract with Family Health La Clinica of Wautoma, as well as a partnership of the health and human services departments in Dodge and Fond du Lac counties, to provide treatment for opioid addiction in Adams, Dodge, Juneau, Manitowoc, and Marquette counties. Contracts are also pending with the Family Health Center of Marshfield and NorthLakes Community Clinic of Iron River to provide treatment for opioid and methamphetamine addictions in Barron, Burnett, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, La Crosse, Pierce, Polk, Rusk, St. Croix, and Sawyer counties.

“DHS is committed to expanding access to addiction treatment and recovery services,” said Paul Krupski, DHS Director of Opioid Initiatives. “These regions have the greatest need for the programs based on the number of people affected by opioids and methamphetamine in these counties, and the distance residents must travel for help.”

Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Rep. John Nygren, co-chairs of Governor Scott Walker’s Task Force on Opioid Abuse, issued a report last year that recommended the creation of regional treatment centers in underserved areas of the state.

This service expansion is funded through the federal State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration awarded to DHS in May 2017 and state funding made available in July 2017 under the Heroin, Opiate, Prevention, and Education (HOPE) Agenda. DHS has allocated $1,341,333 million of the $7,636,938 million federal grant to support opioid treatment services in high-need areas. The federal grant dollars are available through April 30, 2018. Wisconsin is expected to receive a second year of federal grant funding in the spring. Year two funding for this project will be based on successful launching of the program and progress spending year one funds. Up to $666,667 is available annually under the HOPE Agenda to support methamphetamine treatment services.

Family Health La Clinica and the health and human services departments in Dodge and Fond du Lac counties plan to use the funds to enhance their existing addiction treatment programs. Each program will receive $666,667. Both organizations are required to develop a plan to sustain these services after the grant funding ends. The Family Health Center of Marshfield and NorthLakes Community Clinic plan to use the funds to further develop their network of regional addiction services already provided through programs supported by the HOPE Agenda. Each program will receive $333,333. The new programs are expected to begin serving clients no later than the end of April.

With the enactment of 2017 Wisconsin Act 27 in July 2017, all three of the regional opioid treatment centers in northern Wisconsin that opened in 2015 under the HOPE Agenda may now serve individuals struggling with an addiction to opioids or methamphetamine. In the two years they’ve been opened, they have provided opioid treatment services to more than 650 people.

Follow #HopeActLiveWI on Facebook and Twitter for updates on DHS efforts to support people and communities impacted by Wisconsin’s opioids crisis. The next meeting of the Governor’s Task Force on Opioid Abuse is scheduled for January 5 in Wausau.