The opioid epidemic continues to take its toll on Madison. The Madison Police Department says the number of people dying from heroin overdoses is up more than 80 percent compared to last year.
Now, one Madison organization plans to use new grant money to treat more people.
The State Department of Health Services grant used federal funds to expand access to medicated addiction treatments which includes drugs like methadone, suboxone and vivitrol.
Madison’s ARC community services organization is one of the recipients of this round of funding. They’ll get $250,000.
Director of ARC’s addiction treatment services Norman Briggs says that money will help them treat 50 more women a year. “We can offer them outpatient treatment; we can offer them intensive outpatient treatment, evening programming, day treatment programming and even residential programming. So we can provide all of the levels of care necessary for folks.”
ARC’s addiction services focus on women who don’t have insurance.
Besides upping the number of women with addiction they treat from 150 to 200 annually, ARC is also using the funds to hire two additional outreach staff members. Those people will go out to homeless shelters run by Beacon and Porchlight, along with doctors’ offices, to encourage people to seek treatment at ARC.
Paul Krupski leads the state’s health department’s opioid services. He says that people struggling with addiction across the country, including here in Wisconsin, often struggle to access the services they need. “There is just not enough treatment capacity for the number of individuals that are struggling with an addiction to opioids… providing this grant funding will allow these organizations to serve more people.”
Milwaukee’s United Community Center also got a $250,000 grant in this round of funding.