Milwaukee County officials highlighted $2.6 million in grants that will help them expand addiction treatment programs at a press conference Monday.
County Executive Chris Abele said that the funding is “a huge step forward” and will support local efforts to fight the opioid epidemic.
“As a country, we need to use every dime we’ve got,” he said. “We need to focus on an issue that is growing faster and killing more people than just about anything you can imagine.”
Milwaukee County Family Drug Treatment Court is receiving $2.1 million over the next five years from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration.
“We are transforming these families,” said Milwaukee County Court Judge Joe Donald.
Robyn Ellis, who participated in the county’s family drug treatment court, started using alcohol as a child and illegal drugs as a teenager.
In 2013, she lost custody of her daughter. Then family drug treatment court got involved.
“It’s hard for me to stand up here and share all of this because I’m in such a different place today,” she said.
The court helped her get and stay sober, and she regained custody of her daughter in 2014.
An additional $506,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services will allow the county’s Behavioral Health Administration to expand its alcohol and other drug addiction treatment and recovery services to 75 more people.
Those services include medication-assisted treatment, residential treatment, recovery housing and counseling.“We really want the community to know that addiction is a disease,” said Mike Lappen, division administrator. “It can be prevented. It can be treated.”