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Wisconsin is perhaps the most archetypal Midwestern U.S. state and is famous for its agriculture, universities, beer, cheese, sports, and friendly people. Near the nation's northern border in the middle of the continental landmass, Wisconsin is somewhat in the middle in other ways. Among the fifty states, it ranks 23rd in an area, 20th in population, and 26th in gross domestic product per capita. The Badger State features an almost equal mix of farmers, blue-collar manufacturing workers, and academics. Despite the sometimes frigid temperatures, Wisconsin's population is warm and welcoming.
However, America's Dairyland is not without its challenges. Any place known for its alcohol consumption culture cannot be immune to problems related to drug and alcohol abuse and addiction.
In terms of some of the most significant data points related to drug abuse, Wisconsin is once again in the middle of the pack. That might give some people the impression that overdoses and serious health problems are not much of an issue there. However, being about "average" in the midst of a national drug epidemic means that many thousands of people in Wisconsin are struggling. Many Badger State residents die each year from drug addictions that begin under the most normal of circumstances, and there is evidence that the crisis is getting worse. Here are the key numbers related to Wisconsin's drug addiction problems:
According to the CDC, 1,074 people in Wisconsin died due to drug overdoses in 2016, which puts the Badger State 21st with respect to the raw number of drug-related deaths.
That number of drug overdose deaths works out to 19.3 people per 100,000 in Wisconsin, which is right around the national average and ranks the state 26th in terms of rate of overdose fatalities.
Much more troubling, this 2016 overdose death rate represents an increase of 24.5% from the 2015 rate of 15.5 deaths per 100,000 people.
Per 100,000 residents, 62.2 people were prescribed opioids in America's Dairyland in 2016, which represents a steady decline from higher rates in recent years, but still suggests that many Wisconsinites have needlessly become dangerously addicted to opioids as a result of being prescribed such drugs.
These detailed drug abuse and addiction statistics tell a much scarier story about Wisconsin than what one might expect upon a cursory glance that indicates that Wisconsin only has average or middling problems with respect to drugs and alcohol. In no U.S. state can drug abuse be taken lightly in this day and age.
At the same time, all individuals who are struggling from early or full-blown effects of drug addiction should know that there are ways out, and they can be assured that they do not have to become statistics. In Wisconsin and across the nation there are numerous resources as well as treatment centers standing by to help.
Substance abuse counseling approach
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Brief intervention approach
12-step facilitation approach
Contingency management motivational incentive
Dialectical behavioral therapy
Rational emotive behavioral therapy
Community reinforcement plus vouchers
Cash or self-payment
Private health insurance
Federal or any government funding for substance abuse programs
State financed health insurance plan other than Medicaid
Military insurance e.g. TRICARE
Access to recovery ATR voucher
IHS Tribal Urban ITU funds
No payment accepted
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