Ald. Michael Murphy
Press Release

Regional Symposium on Heroin/Opiates Addiction is Wednesday

Southeast Wisconsin Regional Heroin/Opiates Symposium will be held on Wednesday, June 4.

By - Jun 3rd, 2014 10:40 am

Milwaukee Common Council President Michael J. Murphy, in collaboration with the Zilber Family Foundation, Mayor Tom Barrett and elected officials and community leaders in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Racine and Washington Counties, will be holding a Southeast Wisconsin Regional Heroin/Opiates Symposium tomorrow (Wednesday, June 4) to share ideas and solutions around the theme “Heroin: Not on Our Watch – Protecting Our Communities.”

The collaborative symposium will include an array of panelists and speakers, including Michael Gottlieb, director of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and Bridget Brennan, Special Narcotics Prosecutor, New York City. The symposium will also feature State Representative John Nygren, who gained national attention last year after introducing state legislation to combat the state’s heroin and opiates addiction crisis after his daughter – a heroin addict — survived a near-fatal overdose.

The symposium will be held tomorrow from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of Marquette University’s Alumni Memorial Union, 1442 W. Wisconsin Ave.

President Murphy said he believes the symposium is an important milestone in creating a regional pushback and strategic approach to the devastation being wrought by the heroin trade and addiction to heroin and opiates. “Heroin and opiates addiction and its devastating consequences do not recognize municipal boundaries – bringing overdose deaths, ruined lives and crime to communities across southeastern Wisconsin,” he said.

“It is essential that we collaborate and look at this problem from a regional perspective. Law enforcement, public health and drug treatment professionals from throughout the region need to cooperate as much as possible in the areas of drug abuse prevention, drug trade interdiction and criminal intelligence,” President Murphy said.

“The abuse of opiates is having a devastating impact on public health and safety in communities throughout Wisconsin and across the United States,” Michael Gottlieb said. “While there are no silver bullet solutions to this challenge, we know that every sector of our society – parents, patients, healthcare providers, law enforcement and manufacturers – each play a vital role in making our communities healthier and safer. The drug challenge is a public health issue, not just a criminal justice issue and by pursing a holistic response to this epidemic we know we can save lives.”

The event will include participation by Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, James Santelle, U.S. Attorney, Eastern District – Wisconsin, as well as Ozaukee County Board Chairman Lee Schlenvogt, Waukesha County Board Chairman Paul Decker, Racine County Executive Jim Ladwig and Commissioner Bevan K. Baker of the Milwaukee Health Department.

Please go to for more information about the symposium.

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