Opioids

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.

DRUG TAKE-BACK DAY: Saturday, April 27, 2019

Unused medications do more than clutter your medicine cabinet, they can be dangerous and lead to accidental poisoning, overdose, and abuse. Thrown in the trash, unused medications can be retrieved and illegally sold. Flushed down the drain, they can contaminate the water supply. Collection sites for unused medications are located throughout the state. It is free. No questions asked. Find a collection site near you.


 PREVENTION: Protect the health and safety of yourself and your family


 OVERDOSE: Learn how to save lives


 TREATMENT: Find a provider in Wisconsin


 PROFESSIONALS: Access resources on effective prevention, treatment, and recovery practices


 DATA: View the latest Wisconsin reports and studies


History of Wisconsin's opioid crisis

Wisconsin’s opioid crisis has evolved rapidly. There are three waves to this 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.

#HopeActLiveWI: Responding to Wisconsin’s opioid crisis

Responding to Wisconsin’s opioid crisis 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 crisis.

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Last Revised: April 11, 2019