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Wisconsin Department of Justice

Department of Justice

Jurisdiction: State of Wisconsin, population 5,892,718

In Wisconsin, the rate of opioid-related deaths doubled over 5 years, with a rate of 21.1 deaths per 100,000 persons in 2020 compared to 10.6 in 2015. A total of 1,227 opioid-related deaths were recorded statewide in 2020 compared to 613 in 2015. Opioids were involved in 81 percent of fatal overdoses in Wisconsin in 2020. Across the state, 4.7 percent of adults are estimated to have had prescription opioid misuse in the past year compared to 4.1 percent nationally.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) used Comprehensive Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Program funds to partner with 18 overdose fatality review (OFR) teams throughout the state to distribute drug disposal products. Wisconsin DOJ purchased 14,830 drug disposal pouches with the funds. It used program funding to purchase 16,400 drug disposal products for 11 OFR sites in 2021; the initiative proved so successful that many of the original sites and 7 additional ones were eager to participate in 2022. To date, Wisconsin DOJ has collected and safely disposed of more than 860,400 pounds of unused medications in the state and worked with law enforcement agencies, hospitals, pharmacies, and clinics to install nearly 500 permanent drug drop boxes around Wisconsin.