Seventy community coalitions have been awarded grants from the Wisconsin Department Health Services (DHS) to support their work preventing opioid abuse.

“Prevention works,” says DHS Director of Opioid Initiatives Paul Krupski. “It starts with communities around the state coming together with a can-do approach toward ending Wisconsin’s opioid crisis by reducing the availability and access to opioids for nonmedical purposes. The enhanced local prevention activities supported by these grants will help us achieve our vision of a healthy Wisconsin.”

The total amount awarded to the community coalitions is $599,775. The individual grant awards range from $500 to $22,300. The grant awards are based on the number of strategies to be implemented and the amount of materials needed to complete the activity.

The strategies include:

  • The promotion of the Dose of Reality campaign to warn about the dangers of misusing prescription painkillers and highlight the importance of safe use, storage, and disposal of medications.
  • Community drug take-back events in partnership with local law enforcement to collect unneeded medications, preventing them from being stolen, misused, and abused.
  • Permanent prescription drug drop boxes at pharmacies and police stations for the public to dispose of unneeded medications, preventing them from being stolen, misused, and abused.
  • Pouches for individuals to deactivate unneeded prescription drugs and safely dispose of them in their household trash, preventing the medication from being stolen, misused, and abused.
  • Lock boxes and bags for individuals to secure their medications at home to prevent them from being stolen, misused, and abused.
  • Town hall meetings and community education events to raise awareness of the risk of addiction associated with opioids and the risk of overdose associated with using opioids in ways other than prescribed.
  • A partnership with the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin to provide the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone to local first responders and community members and training on how to use it to save lives.

View the list of all of the grant recipients and the strategies to be implemented by each community coalition. All of the grant recipients are members of the Alliance for Wisconsin Youth, an organization of community-based coalitions focused on preventing substance abuse among all ages.

These projects are part of the second year of the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis grant program funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Wisconsin’s second year award under this grant program is $7.6 million. Besides prevention projects, the DHS Division of Care and Treatment Service is using the funding to expand access to treatment and recovery services.

The community coalitions receiving grant funds are expected to complete their projects by the end of April.

This is the second round of DHS grants to community coalitions for opioid abuse prevention activities under the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis grant program. A report on the first round of grants is available on the DHS website.