MILWAUKEE, WI - The fight against opioid and meth abuse continues in Wisconsin —this time with a summit addressing prevention. Hundreds of people met in downtown Milwaukee to discuss the issue while Milwaukee police collected unused prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs.
“We’ve got to prevent more people from coming into this, from ever starting down this path,” Attorney General Brad Schimel.
That path often starts with access to prescription painkillers and over-the-counter drugs. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reports in 2016 more than 800 people in the state died from prescription painkillers, heroin and synthetic opioids like fentanyl.
“One of the frightening things about the opioid abuse [is] often times the signs that someone is using are also similar characteristics you just see in teenagers,” Attorney General Schimel said.
Opioid and meth abuse don’t just affect teens and adults --children are also at risk. In Milwaukee County alone 9 children under the age of 5 have died in the last three years from an opioid overdose. Attorney General Schimel and other local law enforcement leaders hope to change this by working together and providing effective treatment for addicts.
Today’s drug take-back event is just the beginning. National Drug Take Back day is October 27th —300 local law enforcement agencies are expected to participate.