University of Wisconsin schools are getting free Narcan to combat opiate overdoses on campus.
Attorney General Brad Schimel said: “Years ago, I first saw the opioid epidemic take hold in Waukesha County. As district attorney, I met with parents, community advocates, elected officials, pharmacists, doctors, and law enforcement to come up with solutions to the drug epidemic,” said Attorney General Schimel. “As Attorney General, I have continued this fight. Last year, opioids killed 827 people in Wisconsin and we must continue prioritizing prevention, treatment, and enforcement.” Adapt Pharma, the maker of Narcan, is providing the drug to the Wisconsin schools. It will be first provided to their police departments and may eventually be given to resident assistants in student housing.
Receiving the drug will be UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay, UW-La Crosse, UW-Madison, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Platteville, UW-River Falls, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Stout and UW-Superior.
Three other campuses — UW-Milwaukee, UW-Parkside and UW-Whitewater — already have gotten free Narcan from other sources.
Other opioid epidemic initiatives in Wisconsin include:
In order to prevent and deter pharmacy robberies, DOJ and the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin developed a training for local law enforcement and pharmacists. The Pharmacy Robbery Prevention and Response training, is provided to pharmacies by law enforcement and teaches pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, clerks, and other pharmacy personnel how to deter a robbery; what to do when a robbery occurs; and what to do after a robbery occurs.
Attorney General Schimel has also called on Congress to increase access to treatment. In October 2017, the attorney general sent a letter to Congress, along with a bipartisan coalition of 39 other state attorneys general, calling on Congress to pass the Road to Recovery Act, legislation that changes federal law to make treatment for drug addiction more affordable and accessible for Americans who most need it by eliminating a decades-old Medicaid rule that limits residential treatment options.
DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) has partnered with local and federal law enforcement to capture drug traffickers, and recently increased investigative resources when Governor Scott Walker signed 2017 Wisconsin Act 35, which added four new agents to the division to investigate heroin trafficking crime networks.
Through collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), using funds provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), DOJ is working with local counties and tribes to develop overdose fatality review projects in Wisconsin. The projects will provide in-depth review and analysis of overdose deaths to identify potential areas of intervention and prevention that could help reduce future overdoses and overdose fatalities. This project has launched in Kenosha, Milwaukee, and Sauk counties; the project is currently expanding to three additional locations.
DOJ is also working in collaboration with the Medical College of Wisconsin and other partners under the Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program to aggregate data into a connected technology system that would link data from multiple criminal justice systems with data from medical examiners/coroners and the Office of Emergency Management. Connecting this data will provide additional background and context on opioid-related incidents and will help to examine the patterns across systems to support intervention and prevention strategies.