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Known as "America's Dairy Land", Wisconsin is home to an estimated 5,757,564 residents as of 2014. Located in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions of the United States, Wisconsin's economy is derived from manufacturing and tourism. A recent 2014 report from the Wisconsin Epidemiological Profile on Alcohol and Other Drug Use noted that alcohol use among high school students has improved. Until recently, the percentage of Wisconsin residents under 13 who started using alcohol had been similar to the national average. However, as of 2013 this percentage decreased to below the national average as well as being 4 percentage points below where the 2010 Wisconsin early alcohol initiation prevalence had been. The number of deaths attributed to alcohol-related accidents has also decreased marginally. On the other hand, the rate of drug-related deaths has greatly increased and is almost double what it was in 2008.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation reported there were 372 drivers who were killed in motor vehicle crashes and tested for alcohol consumption in 2012; of these drivers, 125 (34%) had a blood alcohol level of .08 or above. Additionally, the number of alcohol-related suicide deaths throughout Wisconsin is estimated to be 23%, this percentage is slightly higher than the national rate for 2011 (the most recent year comparison data are available).
The rate of heroin and other opioid-related deaths has increased steadily in Wisconsin from 2003 through 2012. Between the years 2004 and 2012, Wisconsin experienced a 38% increase in the number of drug deaths mentioning opioids. Additionally, drug deaths mentioning benzodiazepines doubled between 2005 and 2012. On the other hand, mentions of cocaine related drug deaths across Wisconsin have steadily declined since 2006.
Statistics from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health report that rates of illicit drug abuse or addiction for Wisconsin residents age 12 and older have remained relatively consistent since 2007. The state average for illicit drug abuse or addiction comes in at around 3% of Wisconsin's population. This report revealed the highest rate of illicit drug use and addiction was among residents between the ages of 18-25, followed by residents 12-17 years of age and lastly those over the age of 26.
With one of the highest rates of alcohol use in the United States, 49.6% of Wisconsin alcohol and drug rehabilitation program enrollments during 2012 cited alcoholism as their primary reason for receiving treatment. Additional drug threats throughout the state include heroin, other opioids, meth, marijuana, and prescription drugs (primarily the abuse of prescription pain relievers). Throughout Wisconsin, admissions for heroin addiction continues to be one of the top three substances cited among publicly funded treatment programs in urban counties and counties located close to urban areas. Since 2007, the number of clients enrolled in publicly funded treatment programs in Wisconsin continues to decline from 64,806 clients in 2006 down to 50,181 clients in 2012.
Marijuana is one of the most commonly abused drugs in Wisconsin. Statistics show that during 2012, nearly 3,000 individuals enrolled in Wisconsin drug rehab programs citing marijuana addiction as their reason for treatment. Prescription drugs such as OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, Adderall, Ritalin and Xanax are abused by Wisconsin high school students and residents of the state. Additionally, the number of emergency department visits due to non-medical use of opioid analgesics from 2004-2008 in Wisconsin more than doubled.
Prescription drug abuse and addiction affects individuals from every walk of life. However, numbers from Wisconsin publicly funded treatment admissions report youth and young adults ages 12-25 are one of the leading groups most affected by prescription drug abuse. Treatment professionals report that while the rate of young adults abusing prescription drugs has increased, this does not necessary mean that more young people are abusing substances than in years past. This increase in prescription drug abuse by Wisconsin's youth is likely due to a gradual shift from abusing other substances such as cocaine and meth to now choosing prescription drugs as their drug of choice.
Each year thousands of residents struggle with addiction problems in Wisconsin. Due to this fact, there will always be a need for local effective alcohol and drug rehab programs. Luckily, residents of Wisconsin have access to a number of different choices that vary in recovery methods, duration of time and the intensity of the program. Speaking with a treatment professional can assist in the process of determining what type and length of program is best to help you or your loved one overcome addiction, regain control and develop new healthy ways of handling life clean and sober.