Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

For Immediate Release
May 17, 2023
Elizabeth Goodsitt, 608-266-1683
Jennifer Miller, 608-266-1683

DHS Secretary-designee Highlights Over $18 Million in Grants at Opioids, Stimulants, and Trauma Summit

Funding comes from opioid settlement funds and State Opioid Response grants

Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Kirsten Johnson took the stage at the annual Opioids, Stimulant, and Trauma Summit in Wisconsin Dells today to highlight several grant awards totaling over $18 million to tribal nations and local health agencies and other partners to address opioid and other substance use disorders affecting Wisconsinites.

Funding for these grants comes from the National Prescription Opiate Litigation settlement, as well as the State Opioid Response funds.

"Our partners know their communities best and know how to address substance use disorder right where they are," Johnson said. "They have innovative, evidence-based approaches to offer harm reduction, prevention, treatment, and recovery services to people who need them the most."

Grants funded through the National Prescription Opiate Litigation settlement

Residential Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Room and Board Costs for Medicaid Members

Agencies serving six tribal nations and 46 counties will help about 1,300 Wisconsin Medicaid members access residential treatment for opioid use disorder this year with $2.5 million in grants awarded today by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). Funds from the National Prescription Opiate Litigation settlement will cover room and board costs for this level of care. Federal law prohibits Wisconsin Medicaid from reimbursing residential treatment providers for these expenses.

People receiving residential opioid use disorder treatment live at a facility for a period of time and get around-the-clock support and care. The services are individualized to meet the needs of each person.

View the list of grant recipients on the Opioid Settlement Funds webpage.

Emergency Medical Services Leave Behind Program

Twenty-three emergency medical services (EMS) agencies have been awarded $870,000 for the Leave Behind Program.

The money will be used to purchase NARCAN® and fentanyl test strips and other overdose prevention tools that EMS can "leave behind" at the scene of care or after transport to a hospital. The items can be given to the patient and/or their family, friends, and other people close to them to reduce overdose or overdose death in people who are at high risk.

"Increasing access to overdose prevention tools is essential to reducing overdoses and overdose deaths in Wisconsin," Johnson stated. "This is an innovative approach to expand that access and save lives."

View the list of grant recipients on the Opioid Settlement Funds webpage.

After-School Prevention Programs

Johnson also announced today that $750,000 has been awarded to the Wisconsin network of 26 Boys and Girls Clubs that serve more than 70 communities across the state. This funding will support after-school programming for youth focused on providing them information and skills to make healthy decisions through what's known as the SMART Moves Program, a program developed by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

"After-school programs are an important component of a comprehensive prevention strategy, because they offer safe, structured activities that meet regularly and provide activities to help children learn new skills, which will allow them to lead healthier lives in the future," Johnson said.

School-Based Prevention Programs

Today, Johnson also announced that applications have closed for schools wanting to receive a share of $250,000 from the opioid settlement funds to be used for evidence-based substance abuse prevention programs in schools. Public schools, independent charter schools, and private choice schools were eligible to apply. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) will be awarding these funds.

Tribal Nations Support

Six million dollars for prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery services for tribal members with the specific services funded determined by each of the 11 federally recognized tribal nations with members in Wisconsin.

These grants are part of a plan to use the nearly $31 million of National Prescription Opiate Litigation settlement funds the state received last year. DHS is managing distribution of these funds according to a plan developed with public input and approved by the state Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance.

DHS is expected to receive a total of $130 million over 18 years through the National Prescription Opiate Litigation settlement as part of agreements the Wisconsin Department of Justice entered into with pharmaceutical companies and distributors, settling the state’s legal claims that their actions fueled an epidemic of opioid use disorder, overdoses, and deaths.

View the list of grant recipients on the Opioid Settlement Funds webpage.

Grants funded through the State Opioid Response Grant Program

Opioid and Stimulant Response Grants

Three tribal nations and 22 county agencies will share $8 million that will support over 4,000 people throughout the state to provide access to treatment.

The grant awards were based on the level of need for treatment services and the type that can be provided by each tribal nation and county.

This money will be used to connect people to proven approaches to treatment. For opioid use disorder, this includes a model of care that uses one of three Food and Drug Administration-approved medications: buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone, as well as therapy and other supports.

People with stimulant disorder can be connected to cognitive behavioral therapy and a practice known as the Matrix Model, which includes multiple therapies provided in a highly structured environment, as well as additional recovery supports.

Since 2017, more than 17,000 people have been connected to services with this annual funding. That’s when DHS first used federal grant funding focused on addressing the opioid epidemic to support treatment needs identified by tribal nations and counties. This funding began to cover the costs of stimulant treatment in 2020.

Johnson concluded her remarks at the summit with, "Together we are saving lives. And I don’t want anyone to lose sight of that. We are providing opportunities for prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery. We’re continuing to talk—to each other, to families and friends, to save more lives and build stronger and healthier future generations."

More than 900 people involved in addressing the state’s substance use issues are attending the Opioids, Stimulants, and Trauma Summit in person at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center and online. It started Tuesday and runs through Thursday.

For more information on steps all state residents can take to build healthy communities, visit Dose of Reality (opioids), Real Talks Wisconsin (all substances), and Resilient Wisconsin (toxic stress and trauma).


Last revised May 17, 2023