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State awarded $16.7 million grant toward addiction help

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has received a $16.7 million federal grant, to reduce drug-related deaths. It is the latest round of funding under the State Opioid Response Grant Program, managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

While opioids remain the primary focus, this program now supports services for stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine.

“We’re experiencing a drug addiction crisis that is affecting every community in our state,” said DHS secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “This grant funding allows us to target resources to the diverse needs of our communities, through partnerships with state, tribal, county and local agencies, to connect people struggling with a drug addiction to the help they need, while working to prevent harmful substance use and encouraging long-term recovery.”

Half the money will be used to fund individual treatment costs. The remainder will support prevention programs, overdose response efforts, an expansion of treatment options and recovery coaches.

The grant funding is available through September 2021, with an additional $16.7 million expected to be awarded next fall, for the following year.

The stress, trauma and uncertainty presented by the COVID- 19 pandemic, and other recent events, can lead to harmful substance use. To help Wisconsin residents cope with adversity, the DHS launched Resilient Wisconsin in April. The resources include a directory of helplines, hotlines and virtual support meetings for people struggling with any type of substance use.

In addition, September has been proclaimed as Recovery Month in Wisconsin, to highlight that treatment for substance use concerns is effective, and that people can, and do, recover. The annual Rally for Recovery, hosted by Wisconsin Voices for Recovery, is Saturday, Sept. 26, from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

This year’s event is virtual, using Zoom. All are welcome to join in the celebration of the gains and successes of people in recovery, and the service providers and others that make recovery possible. Visit the Wisconsin Voices for Recovery website for more information.

The Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline connects people to resources to help overcome harmful substance use, and the call is free and confidential. The helpine can be reached by calling 211, or at 833-944-4673.