Wisconsin Substance Abuse Statistics
Located in the Midwest and home to thousands of beautiful lakes, Wisconsin has a population of close to 5.8 million people. It borders four other states and two of the Great Lakes. Milwaukee is its largest city, and its capital is Madison. Like residents of other states, people in Wisconsin struggle with alcohol abuse, illegal drug use, and the misuse of prescription drugs. Whether they live in Milwaukee or on a dairy farm in a rural area, they experience the dangers of substance abuse.
Wisconsinites across the state face addiction issues, but help is available. At Lakeview Health, we understand how devastating the effects of addiction can be, and we provide addiction treatment options that are customized to fit the needs of each individual in our care. If you are thinking about your addiction treatment choices, Lakeview Health’s outstanding team of addiction treatment specialists provides care for Wisconsin residents. First, however, it is important to consider Wisconsin substance abuse statistics to understand how large the problem is.
In November 2016, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute published a report on the use of alcohol and other drugs throughout the state. The Wisconsin substance abuse statistics that we share here come from this comprehensive report.
Alcohol Consumption in Wisconsin
- Among adults, the state’s rate for binge drinking was 24 percent in 2018, compared to the national average of 16 percent.
- In the same year, there were 79,285 alcohol-related hospitalizations throughout the state.
- Further, there were 24,651 DUI arrests made throughout the state in 2018. Compared to the national average of 15,449 annual DUI arrests made in the Untied States that year.
- Between 2016 and 2017 60.9 percent of Wisconsin residents over the age of 12 reported having consumed alcohol in the past month, compared to the national average to 51.2 percent.
Wisconsin is home to famous breweries, and alcohol is commonly perceived as a fun, popular drug. However, alcohol consumption can become dangerous under a variety of circumstances.
- A fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists some of the major risks of excessive drinking, including liver damage, brain damage, alcohol poisoning, and congenital disabilities.
- Drinking impairs various cognitive and motor abilities, increasing the likelihood of vehicular collisions, injurious falls, and other accidents.
- Alcohol addiction has an adverse impact on an individual’s mental health, personal relationships, and ability to hold a job or attend school.
Excessive alcohol consumption is estimated to cost Wisconsin $6.8 billion each year.
Illegal Drug Use in Wisconsin
- Wisconsin residents between the ages of 18 and 25 are most likely to demonstrate illegal drug abuse or dependence.
- There were 31,066 drug-related arrests made in 2018, and 9.8 percent of the people arrested were juveniles.
- In data collected between 2015 and 2017, cocaine use in residents 12 years and older rose in the state from 1.4 percent to 2 percent.
- In the time period between 2004 and 2017, the state of Wisconsin saw an increase from 36 counties reporting opioid-related deaths to 60 counties.
Illegal drug use presents a variety of risks to people’s health and well-being, including the following:
- Damage to health – For example, cocaine use may lead to a stroke or heart attack. Heroin use may lead to kidney damage. Sharing needles increases the risk of HIV and hepatitis infections.
- Psychological and cognitive problems – For example, regular marijuana use may contribute to impaired cognition and damaging effects on brain development among younger people. Many drugs are associated with a more substantial likelihood of suicidal thoughts and symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Increased risk of miscarriage or damage to the unborn child during pregnancy
- Arrests on various drug-related charges
Misuse of Prescription Drugs in Wisconsin
Between 2005 and 2014, Wisconsin residents between the ages of 12 and 25 showed an increase in publicly funded treatments for prescription drug abuse.
In data collected in 2013 and 2014, 9 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 25 reported using pain relievers for nonmedical reasons in the past year. Teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 reported such usage at a rate of 5 percent. For adults who were 26 years of age and older, the rate was 3 percent.
In 2013, 15 percent of high school students in Wisconsin reported that they had used a prescription drug for nonmedical purposes at least once in their life.
The U.S., in general, is experiencing a prescription drug abuse crisis. Opioid painkillers are particularly dangerous and addictive. Improper use can lead to dependence, serious side effects, and overdose. The National Institute on Drug Abuse also reports that prior misuse of opioid painkillers has been linked to a higher risk of subsequent heroin use.
Any prescription drug is dangerous if misused. Misuse occurs in a variety of situations:
Even when people have a legitimate prescription, they may fail to follow instructions on how to take the drug. Maybe they consume an unsafe dosage or combine the drug with alcohol or other substances.
People may borrow painkillers or other prescription drugs from someone they know. Even if they do this to address a medical issue, it constitutes improper and potentially dangerous drug use.
They may use these drugs to get high or for other purposes that aren’t medical.
Substance Abuse Treatment in Wisconsin
Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options available for people who are abusing drugs or suffering from substance addiction. These include one-on-one therapy or counseling, support groups, and residential rehabilitation programs. In addition, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services provides a resource on its website for finding treatment programs.
The best programs take a holistic approach to treatment. In addition to tackling an individual’s substance use problems, these programs address overall physical and psychological health, social environment, and life choices. The key is to empower people to heal and enjoy a successful long-term recovery. This is the approach that we take at Lakeview Health. Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information about our out-of-state addiction treatment programs.
Choose Lakeview Health for Comprehensive Addiction Treatment
At Lakeview Health, our team embraces a comprehensive approach to addiction treatment. This means that we treat both the physical and psychological effects of addiction. We provide therapy options so that you can address and overcome mental issues that may be the underlying causes of your addiction. When therapy is combined with treatment for the physical effects of addiction, you have a greater chance of maintaining your recovery for years to come.
Our dedicated Lakeview Health team has decades of combined experience in the addiction treatment field, and we can help you end your dependence on substances.