Milwaukee Gets $18 Million Opioid Settlement
But overdoses, deaths and need for treatment continue to increase.
The City of Milwaukee will receive an initial payment of $2 million and $18 million over the life of the settlement.
The city’s $18 million comes as part of approximately $400 million Wisconsin will receive, of which about $100 million will be distributed to the Milwaukee area.
Murphy said a formal proposal on exactly what the city will spend its initial funding on will come in September.
The alderman, as chair of the City-County Heroin, Opioid, and Cocaine Task Force, has watched as the crisis has mushroomed in Milwaukee and elsewhere in the nation. He said the latest growth area in opioid abuse is in Milwaukee’s African American community, joining the already plagued South Side.
A state dashboard shows opioid deaths in Milwaukee have climbed steadily from 212 in 2014 to 424 in 2020. Milwaukee County reported a record 643 drug overdose deaths in 2021.
The state in aggregate will receive $50 million in 2022 from the settlement this year, but Attorney General Josh Kaul said in March that this amount is less than the state already spends on the Treatment Alternatives and Diversion program.
MORI attempts to help people who have experienced a non-fatal overdose or are close to someone who overdoses. The program’s funding supports MFD and peer support counselors from community partners making follow-up visits. It also pays for things like free rides from transportation network company Lyft to treatment facilities.
In 2019, Murphy said the city’s earlier follow-up efforts amounted to handing an individual a postcard-sized note with a phone number on it as they left the ambulance. Now care services are coordinated in partnerships with groups like Community Medical Services, WisHope and CleanSlate Milwaukee and follow-up visits are made.
Funding for the settlement comes from four companies: Johnson & Johnson, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson. Additional settlements are expected to be forthcoming from other companies including opioid maker Purdue Pharma.
- Limited Supply of Narcan Prevents Milwaukee Groups From Saving Lives - Edgar Mendez - Dec 1st, 2023
- MUPD, Wisconsin Voices for Recovery partner to install Nalox-ZONE boxes on Marquette campus - Marquette University - Oct 12th, 2023
- MKE County: Drug Settlements Could Help Expand Opioid Addiction Programs - Graham Kilmer - Sep 21st, 2023
- DHS Awards Funding to Law Enforcement Agencies Working to Address the Opioid Epidemic - Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Sep 21st, 2023
- Milwaukee County Announces Locations of 11 ‘Harm Reduction Vending Machines’ to Combat Death from Overdose - County Executive David Crowley - Aug 8th, 2023
- Attorney General Kaul Joins Law Enforcement, Public Health Officials Across Wisconsin to Highlight Additional NARCAN® from Opioid Settlements - Wisconsin Department of Justice - Aug 8th, 2023
- Narcan Vending Machines Arrive in County - Isiah Holmes - Aug 8th, 2023
- DHS Announces Expansion of Harm Reduction Efforts - Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Jun 29th, 2023
- ‘They Die So Quickly’ From Fentanyl - Max Stapleton - Jun 26th, 2023
- Report Finds 1000% Increase in Fentanyl-Related Deaths - Isiah Holmes - Jun 13th, 2023
Read more about Opioid Crisis here