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With its rolling forests, abundant farmland and sweeping Great Lakes coastal regions, Wisconsin is a beautiful state to work and live in. But despite this, far too many Wisconsin residents experience poor health and declining quality of life due to the effects of alcohol or drug addiction.

In addition to heroin, other forms of illicit drug use are problematic in Wisconsin, with patterns that are similar to national trends. Cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and synthetic marijuana are all illicit drugs that cause bodily harm and lead to addiction in Wisconsin.

Fortunately, with the right combination of individualized treatments, recovery is possible. Wisconsin substance use and addiction treatment programs can help a person overcome the damaging patterns of addiction so that they can begin to live a more meaningful, sober life.

Wisconsin Substance Use Statistics

Opioid Use

From 2013 to 2014, four percent of people aged 12 and older used prescription painkillers in a non-medical way:

  • Wisconsin’s four percent rate equaled national levels at this time
  • Young adults had the highest rates of prescription painkiller use at nine percent
  • Levels of use have remained steady at four percent since 2011

Any non-medical use of prescription drugs is considered drug use. Prescription painkiller use can lead to addiction, overdose and, in many cases, can transition to heroin use.

A growing number of Wisconsinites are dying as a result of opioid use. In 2016, Wisconsin’s rate of opioid-related overdose deaths was higher than the nation’s, at 15.8 deaths per 100,000 people and 13.3 deaths per 100,000, respectively.

Since 2010:

  • Heroin overdose deaths have risen nearly 323 percent, from 92 to 389 deaths
  • Synthetic opioid deaths rose 336 percent, from 66 to 288 deaths. These fatalities were primarily from fentanyl
  • Prescription opioid deaths climbed percent 34 percent, from 285 to 382 deaths

Illicit Drug Use

As reported by the Wisconsin Epidemiological Profile on Alcohol and Other Drugs, 2016, state-level past-year illicit drug use was equal to national levels:

  • Three percent of individuals 12 and older used illegal drugs
  • Rates of past-year marijuana use were somewhat higher than national levels, at 13 percent and 12 percent respectively
  • Cocaine use in Wisconsin was equal to national levels, at two percent

Every region of Wisconsin has been impacted by methamphetamine. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, from 2010 to 2015 the number of people receiving county-funded treatment for methamphetamine has more than doubled, rising from 331 to 706 people.

Synthetic Cannabinoids (Synthetic Marijuana, K2, Spice)

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has issued warnings on severe bleeding that can occur after using synthetic cannabinoids. From March 30 through early July of 2018, 44 total cases were reported to the Division of Public Health. Thirty-three of these were confirmed. Confirmed cases were in Dane, Milwaukee, Outagamie, and Rock counties.

Wisconsin Addiction Prevention Programs

Wisconsin substance use prevention and outreach programs work to reduce drug use at all ages.

Healthiest Wisconsin 2020: This 10-year state plan seeks to improve the lifetime health of Wisconsin residents. One of 23 focus areas is committed to decreasing alcohol and drug use through prevention, screening and intervention.

Wisconsin Good Samaritan Law: In 2014, this law was changed to offer greater protection for individuals who witness a drug overdose, better enabling these individuals to seek help.

Statewide Standing Order for Naloxone: This statewide standing order allows pharmacies to dispense naloxone, a life-saving opioid overdose antidote, to people at risk of overdose or those who could help in this situation.

Wisconsin Addiction Treatment Programs

High-quality addiction treatment programs look at the unique challenges a person is facing and create a treatment plan that can help them overcome these obstacles. Each patient’s personal struggles, ambitions and health concerns should be evaluated and taken into account to create a customized treatment plan. With this personalized focus comes a greater chance of personal growth, sobriety and long-term recovery success.

The following addiction treatment services can help Wisconsin residents build and maintain a sober life:

Intervention Services

A professional interventionist works with those who are close to the person experiencing addiction to design an intervention. An intervention outlines the toll that substance use has taken on the person and the people who love them and outlines an appropriate treatment plan, with the goal of motivating them to seek help.

Drug And Alcohol Detox Programs

Without professional help and medical support, withdrawal symptoms and cravings can push a person to relapse. A medical detox program provides 24/7 medical support while a person’s body begins to heal. This treatment helps protect a person from relapse and prepares them for the next stage of treatment.

To help a person be more comfortable and to reduce or prevent withdrawal symptoms and cravings, medications may be administered as needed. Due to potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms, individuals addicted to alcohol, benzodiazepines, and opioids should consider a detox program.

Inpatient Addiction Treatment

After a person has completed any necessary detox, it’s time to address the psychological and behavioral aspects of addiction in an inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.

Wisconsin inpatient drug rehab programs offer a residential setting and intensive therapies that help a person address the social, mental, emotional and even spiritual impact of addiction. These tailored therapies help a person to adopt the relapse-prevention and sober-living skills that work best for their needs.

Living on-site at a treatment facility gives each client the chance to be immersed in a therapeutic community. Throughout the course of their day, residents have the chance to build meaningful relationships with staff and fellow treatment participants. These bonds both enhance and inform the recovery process.

A variety of individualized inpatient addiction treatment programs are available, both religious and secular. Twelve-step programs provide traditional addiction treatment for those who might wish to involve spirituality into their recovery. On the other hand, a growing number of alternatives to 12-step programs exist that pair evidence-based therapies with transformative treatment methods.

Outpatient Addiction Treatment

While traditional outpatient and intensive outpatient programs do provide standalone services for addiction treatment, these programs are often more valuable when used to support inpatient rehabilitation.

In this capacity, an outpatient program can help a person adjust to sober living after treatment. As a step-down service, outpatient programs help a person to successfully adjust to lifestyle changes associated with sober living.

Aftercare And Alumni Services

Wisconsin aftercare and alumni support services can help a person to stay inspired and focused on their recovery goals.

Aftercare and alumni services in Wisconsin may include:

  • Community outreach programs
  • Online recovery resources and support groups
  • Mentorship programs
  • Peer support groups
  • Self-improvement classes
  • Sober-living homes

Specialized Wisconsin Addiction Treatment Programs

Medication-Assisted Treatment

In many cases, patients in drug rehab experience better results when they receive medication-assisted treatment. This integrated approach blends medications with behavioral therapies.

The benefits of these programs hold especially true with individuals working to build sobriety from an opioid or alcohol addiction.

Medications that may be used to prevent withdrawal and deter substance use include:

  • Opioid use disorders: maintenance medications include buprenorphine (Suboxone), methadone and Naltrexone (Vivitrol)
  • Alcohol use disorders: acamprosate (Campral), disulfiram (Antuse) and naltrexone (Vivitrol)

Gender-Specific Treatment

Many people feel they can better relate to a gender-specific addiction treatment program. Some individuals prefer LGBTQ-friendly treatment options that recognize and address the specific challenges these community members often face in recovery.

Dual-Diagnosis Treatment

Mental illness can make a person more vulnerable to substance use. Substance use can also make the symptoms of mental illness worse. Individuals who have a dual diagnosis of both a mental health disorder and substance use disorder need specially designed treatment plans that integrate treatment for both disorders. Many Wisconsin addiction treatment centers provide treatment for co-occurring disorders.

Wisconsin Addiction Treatment Therapies

Psychotherapies form the foundation of addiction treatment programs. This therapy format is used to help people identify and address harmful thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that are connected to substance use.

Research-based behavioral therapies that may be offered in an individual, group or family setting include:

While these research-based therapies can be effective on their own, many people experience the greatest benefit when they’re supported by alternative or holistic therapies.

Complementary therapies in Wisconsin may include:

Healing the body from addiction continues after the initial detox stage. To achieve this goal, many high-quality programs offer nutritional education and exercise programs that help their clients build greater health and well-being.

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How To Pay For Wisconsin Addiction Treatment

To give a person the greatest number of treatment options, and to make any personal financial contributions go the furthest, it’s important to outline a clear financial payment plan for treatment.

In Wisconsin, the following health insurance companies may help a person pay for treatment:

  • Arise Health Plan
  • Celtic
  • Dean Health Plan
  • Humana
  • Physicians Plus Insurance
  • Quartz
  • Security Health Plan
  • United Healthcare
  • WPS Health Insurance

Each person’s coverage limits, copays and deductible may vary depending on the insurance benefits of their specific plan.

In addition to insurance, the following options may help a person finance addiction treatment:

  • Assistance from loved ones
  • Crowdfunding
  • Personal medical loans
  • Scholarships or grants
  • financing options and payment plans
  • Sliding-scale fees based on income

Treatment Program Length

In addition to the severity of the addiction, a person’s medical and mental health needs should influence the treatment length. Due to the cost of treatment, career responsibilities or family obligations, some people may only be able to select a short-term, 30-day program. Beyond this, a person may also enroll in treatment for 60 days, 90 days, 120 days, or up to a year or longer.

Research supports long-term care options. Studies have shown that most people have better success in a program that is 90 days or longer.

Traveling For Addiction Treatment

When selecting a treatment center, programs close to home may not be the best option for many people. Receiving treatment at a rehab center in the local community can put pressure on a person that compromises their recovery.

One of the biggest dangers of receiving treatment close to home is exposed to triggers that lead to cravings. If a person knows that the substance or people who use or supply it are close by they may be motivated to leave treatment and relapse.

Choosing a treatment program outside of the community or even out of state can protect a person from these relapse opportunities. This then makes it easier for them to commit wholeheartedly to their recovery.

Vertava Health is committed to providing its clients with compassionate, research-based care at several locations across the United States.