Many women struggling with opioid addiction in Waukesha often have to leave the county to get help and one organization is paving the way to ease their burden.
On Wednesday night, Lutheran Social Services was granted unanimous approval by Waukesha's Planning and Zoning Committee to transform a huge vacant building on Bluemound Road into an intensive drug addiction treatment facility for both men and women.
The unused building that's already owned by Lutheran Social Services will soon have new life to deal with an opioid crisis that's taking far too many.
"It is something that is plaguing our community and the communities throughout the country really," said Debra Adamus with Lutheran Social Services.
The medical examiner said 62 Waukesha County residents died from drug-related overdoses in 2016. Nearly half were from opioid medications. Adamus knows all too well.
"They're sick; emotionally, physically, they come to us pretty broken," she said.
Adamus manages addiction treatment for Lutheran Social Services in Waukesha where they currently have a 12-bed residential facility, but it's only for men.
"There is no affordable treatment for women in Waukesha County," she said.
Adamus believes it's a problem that keeps several women from seeking the help they need.
"Women often have children and they don't want to leave their hometown where they can be close to their children to go out of county for treatment," she said.
Lutheran Social Services has been given the green light to renovate their former administrative building to house 22 men and women at a time with room for expansion.
"We want to be part of the solution so that's really fueled it," Adamus.
It's where those who struggle with alcohol or drug addiction can receive counseling and rehabilitation for up to a month to regain their health and sobriety close to home.
Adamus told TODAY'S TMJ4 they expect to receive final approval from the Waukesha Common Council next week and plan to break ground soon after. They hope to open sometime this fall.