February 17, 2017
Jennifer Miller, 608-266-1683
Elizabeth Goodsitt, 608-266-1683

Wisconsin Submits Grant Application to Fight Opioid Epidemic

Funds to help build on prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts

Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services (DHS) has submitted an application for up to $15.7 million in federal funding to boost the state’s response to the growing misuse and abuse of opioids.

“This is an important step forward in our efforts to protect and promote the health and safety of state residents,” said Governor Scott Walker. “The services and supports funded by this grant will bring hope and healing to individuals impacted by this public health crisis, their families, and their communities.”

Governor Walker issued Executive Order #229 on January 5, 2017, directing DHS to apply for the grant funds by February 17, 2017. The application was submitted February 16, 2017, to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

DHS will use the funds to support the recommendations made in a report issued last month by the co-chairs of Governor’s Task Force on Opioid Abuse. State health officials will complete a statewide needs assessment, and then target their work in the areas with the highest need of services. Pending approval from SAMHSA, this effort will:

  • 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.

The funding is available under the 21st Century Cures Act. The amount of the grant is based on the unmet need for opioid-related treatment and the number of opioid-related deaths in the state. Wisconsin is eligible to receive up to $7,636,938 each year for the next two years.