April 11, 2018
Jennifer Miller, 608-266-1683
Elizabeth Goodsitt, 608-266-1683

#HopeActLiveWI: DHS Hosts Opioid Forum

Event in Milwaukee focuses on life-saving strategies

Nearly 500 people involved in the response to Wisconsin’s opioid crisis are in Milwaukee for a two-day event hosted by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). Today is the first day of the Opioid Forum at the Hyatt Regency. It runs through tomorrow.

“We’re sharing strategies to save lives,” says DHS Opioid Initiatives Director Paul Krupski. “This event is part of Wisconsin’s comprehensive effort to provide hope and healing to communities and individuals impacted by the opioid crisis. Behavioral health professionals, health care providers, law enforcement, and others are coming together to learn from each other and take the information back to their communities. Together, we’ll end Wisconsin’s opioid crisis.”

Today’s agenda includes a discussion on how to communicate the dangers of the misuse and abuse of opioids to diverse audiences, a presentation on how to build treatment and recovery services that reflect the needs of people who have suffered traumatic experiences, and a presentation on how to review fatal drug overdose cases to better understand the life of each person lost to find intervention and prevention strategies that will lead to positive results. Tomorrow’s agenda includes a discussion on the latest drug trends in Wisconsin, a presentation on how Wisconsin’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program is promoting safe prescribing practices, and a training on how to use naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses.

Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Attorney General Brad Schimel are scheduled to address attendees at the event tomorrow. Lt. Governor Kleefisch and Schimel are members of Governor Scott Walker’s Task Force on Opioid Abuse. Lt. Governor Kleefisch and Representative John Nygren co-chair the task force, which is scheduled to hold its next meeting Friday, April 13, in Milwaukee.

The Opioid Forum is part of Wisconsin’s State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis funded by a grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. This grant is managed by the DHS Division of Care and Treatment Services. Since May 2017, this grant has funded prevention projects organized by 63 community coalitions, new regional treatment programs in underserved areas, unmet treatment needs in 16 counties and five tribes, and a network of certified peer specialists and recovery coaches managed by Wisconsin Voices for Recovery who work with hospital emergency room staff and other health care professionals to help patients who overdosed on opioids find a path to treatment.

Follow #HopeActLiveWI on Facebook and Twitter for updates on DHS efforts to support people and communities impacted by Wisconsin’s opioids crisis.