Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

County Awarded Major Grant to Aid in Efforts to Reduce Opiates Addiction

August 08, 2013
Casey Slaughter Becker, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 843-8858
County Executive


Dane County has been awarded a state grant of over $44,000 to aid in its efforts to further reduce opiates abuse through treatment and prevention, and reduce the number of inmates that re-offend due to an opiate addiction, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced today.


The funds were secured by the county’s Office of Equal Opportunity from the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance’s (OJA) Residential Substance Abuse Treatment grant program. 


“The heroin problem has incurred countless costs to our residents, communities, emergency responders, and criminal justice system,” said Parisi.  “This grant will allow us to pilot an intensive treatment and education program to help inmates currently in the Dane County jail find treatment, kick their addiction, and stay out of the criminal justice system for good.”


In the past several years, the County Executive and Mayor of Madison have paired resources within Public Health Madison-Dane County to implement an opiates overdose abatement plan spearheaded by Safe Communities. 


The plan unites local elected officials, law enforcement, health care providers, and alcohol and other drug abuse (AODA) prevention community members to develop strategies to reduce addiction.  Recent efforts have included reducing inappropriate access and use of prescription painkillers such as OxyContin, oxycodone, and Vicodin.  Those who abuse painkillers are said to make the switch to heroin because the drug is much cheaper and easier to obtain.


The addition of the $40,000 OJA grant will aid in those efforts by allowing currently jailed opiate offenders an opportunity to get clean and stay clean. 


Resources will be provided in the Dane County Jail, including Informational and case management services;  as well as medical and cognitive behavior treatment and support upon release from jail to prevent a return to the criminal justice system.


“Unfortunately we have a burgeoning need for AODA treatment in Dane County,” said Supervisor Paul Rusk, Chair of the Public Protection and Judiciary Committee.  “These treatment dollars are a critical component  to help people turn their lives around.”


Poisoning deaths have reached near historic levels in Dane County, surpassing vehicular crashes as the number one cause of death.  Two-thirds of poisoning deaths are due to drug overdoses.