ONALASKA, Wis. (WXOW) — Alliance to HEAL (Halting the Effects of Addiction Locally) is taking steps to fight the opioid epidemic through grant money that funds research and awareness.
One grant is $24,000 from the Wisconsin Department of Justice to assess previous drug related-deaths. It funds research into the causes of the deaths and how interventions could have helped. Another grant is $41,000 from Wisconsin Health Services and it funds awareness efforts like billboards and broadcast ads. The media awareness grant benefits both La Crosse and Crawford counties.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, in 2018 there were 19 prescription opioid-related cases in La Crosse County.
“In general people know that opioids are a problem. But where do they go from there?” La Crosse County Health Department health educator Rebecca Lakowske said. “Do people know that there are alternative uses? They don’t always have to use opioids. A lot of times people may have an injury and go straight to opioids without know that there are other options out there.”
According to the Alliance, at least 16 of the 24 people who died from drug overdoses last year in La Crosse County had opioids in their system.