Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley, Chief Health Policy Advisor Dr. Ben Weston, Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) Executive Director Shakita LaGrant-McClain, and Behavioral Health Services (BHS) are announcing the placement of 11 Harm Reduction Vending Machines to reduce injury and death from overdose, at locations across the county, informed by data and need. The machines provide free access to harm reduction and prevention supplies, including fentanyl test strips, nasal naloxone, medication deactivation pouches, medication lock bags, and gun locks. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), harm reduction is an evidence-based practice to prevent death for people who use drugs. In 2022, there were 667 drug overdose deaths in Milwaukee County.
“The opioid epidemic reaches communities in all parts of the county. It crosses all socio-economic, demographic and age ranges – there is no ‘type’ of person who succumbs to opioid addiction. Last year’s opioid settlement allow us to get to work right away funding projects that will help save lives and mitigate continued suffering for residents and their loved ones,” said County Executive Crowley. “Milwaukee County has been on the frontlines of this battle for years in the court system, and now we take the next step in bringing crucial resources to the doorstep of the communities that need them the most. By following the data and investing in the communities with the highest need, I am optimistic we will make our communities safer and healthier and help residents begin or continue their road to recovery.”
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