City works to combat heroin, opiate abuse

Posted at 12:45 PM, Apr 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-07 13:46:40-04

MILWAUKEE -- The city of Milwaukee is hoping to team up with the Medical College of Wisconsin to combat heroin in and opiate abuse.

According to a report compiled by Common Council President Michael Murphy’s office, 888 people died of drug abuse in Milwaukee County in the last four years.

Murphy said the startling numbers inspired the Medical College of Wisconsin to propose being involved with a solution. He said the common council already budgeted $25,000 toward tackling the heroin and opiate epidemic, but the council wants to chip in another $250,000 over two years.

City officials must now approve a memorandum of understanding between the city of Milwaukee and the college. Murphy briefed the Public Safety Committee on Thursday on what the basics of the proposed agreement are.

“More research needs to be done to looking into what we can do to break this terrible stranglehold on our community,” he said.“We need a collaborative approach to fixing this issue."

The proposed partnership would call for the immediate implementation, within three to six months, of programs aimed at cutting down on drug abuse. Murphy said the city and the college would also work toward developing policies and programs aimed at preventing drug abuse.

Finally, Murphy said the two entities would hope to craft solutions to the drug epidemic that could remain in place even after the partnership ends.