State leaders are hoping to bring a ‘Dose of Reality’ to a growing opioid abuse problem across Wisconsin. (Full Story Here)
In a new campaign released Thursday, Attorney General Brad Schimel highlighted the campaign’s efforts to stop painkiller abuse before it leads to drugs like heroin.
In 2013, opioid drug overdoses accounted for nearly half of the 843 drug overdoses state-wide.
“They kill more people than automobile crashes, and they kill more people than firearms,” says Attorney General Brad Schimel. “Even more shocking, nearly 4 out of 5 heroin addicts started by becoming addicted to painkillers.”
That includes Appleton’s Nadine Machkovech, who watched an addiction to Percocet lead to a heroin addiction at the age of 16.
“When I was younger I always said I would never touch needles, I would never do heroin,” she says. “It’s seen as such a dirty word, but today it’s really not anymore. It’s such a small step going from using pills to heroin.”
The ‘Dose of Reality’ campaign will feature TV and radio Advertisements, along with an increased focus on education. A major focus is on utilizing ‘Drug Drop Boxes’, where prescription medications can be disposed of anonymously. Appleton Police are emptying their box more often than ever.
“We really don’t care where they’re coming from,” says Sgt. Dave Lund “Our focus here is to make sure they’re not sitting in somebody’s cabinet.”
Machkovech says that’s a critical step to ending painkiller abuse.
“For me, the first place I would go was to a friends house, or to their grandparents house, because I would go and search their medicine cabinets,” she says. “If we just leave those things lying around, people are going to find it.”