Opioids are a type of drug. They include strong prescription pain relievers. The illegal drug heroin is also an opioid. Anybody who takes opioids is at risk for addiction and overdose.
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Select one of the options below for more information on opioids.
OVERDOSE: Learn how to save lives
TREATMENT: Find a provider in Wisconsin
Save a life. Get naloxone.
Naloxone is the opioid overdose reversal drug. It is available without a prescription at many pharmacies in Wisconsin.
Three waves of Wisconsin's opioid epidemic
- The first wave began in 1999. That’s when deaths involving opioids began to rise following an increase in the prescribing of opioids for the treatment of pain.
- The second wave began in 2010. That’s when deaths involving heroin began to rise. More people began to use heroin around this time because it was cheaper and more accessible than prescription opioids.
- The third wave began in 2014. That’s when deaths involving synthetic opioids like fentanyl began to rise. This increase has been linked to fentanyl illegally manufactured and mixed with other drugs like heroin.
Responding to Wisconsin’s opioid epidemic is one of our top priorities. Through partnerships with state, tribal, county, and local agencies, our approach to this epidemic empowers communities to prevent misuse, expand access to quality treatment and recovery services, and reduce death and harm. Learn more about our response to Wisconsin's opioid epidemic.
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2020 DHS Opioid Forum
The 2020 DHS Opioid Forum will be held May 5-7, 2020, at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells. It will feature workshops on prevention, treatment, and recovery topics related to opioids and other drugs.