NSFR Participates in Milwaukee Community Opioid Education Project


The rate of opioid overdose deaths in the state of Wisconsin has almost doubled over the last decade, according to a recent report by the Department of Health Services. The Wisconsin Law Journal translates the alarming increase to more than an 800 percent rise in opioid fatalities over this period of time. In Milwaukee County alone, the Milwaukee Community Opioid Prevention Effort known as COPE estimates that there has been a 495 percent increase in heroin-related deaths since 2005. Due to such worrisome statistics, Wisconsin’s state Senate has devised legislation that targets an expansion of treatment and directs the hiring of special agents among other strategies.

In addition to the development of new statewide laws, local agencies are also contributing to a variety of valuable initiatives. North Shore Fire/Rescue is an active participant in Milwaukee County’s COPE program. This project’s mission is both to investigate and to offer information about the opioid and heroin epidemic. Through the distribution of evidence-based approaches, state lawmakers, researchers and clinical providers will have beneficial resources that can be used to minimize the amount of opioid-related overdose deaths in Wisconsin.

The Evidence-Based Approach

Data that is utilized to inform and help develop community-level intervention defines the evidence-based approach. There are three main components to this strategy:

  • A review of opioid overdose literature
  • Comprehensive data analysis
  • Prevention suggestions and strategies based on findings

By selecting this combined method, NSFR and our partners can offer local and state professionals the necessary tools to protect Milwaukee County residents against opioid addiction. The evidence-based approach is designed to reduce the tragic number of opioid overdose deaths that affect families across Wisconsin.

COPE’s Goals for Milwaukee County

Opioid addiction and the continued epidemic of overdose deaths are complex problems. That’s why COPE has been formed to save lives and built a greater understanding of this dangerous issue for Milwaukee County residents. Through public health sciences and data acquisition designed to shape prevention tactics, COPE’s objective is to usher a measureable decline in opioid-related fatalities.

The foundation of this effort relies on research, which serves as the ideal way to begin a full comprehension of opioids and its proven threats. COPE’s strategy starts with a review of this available literature. By studying the data that has been collected in the past, NSFR and its COPE partners can help provide a hopeful pathway for diminishing opioid overdose deaths throughout Milwaukee County and Wisconsin in the future.

In Conclusion

Opioid-related overdose deaths have become a disturbing issue in Milwaukee County and the state of Wisconsin. But NSFR and our partners at COPE are working hard to safeguard the lives of residents from this increasing problem.   

With our commitment to understanding past research, compiling current data and offering preventive strategies to policy makers and clinicians, NSFR is proud to be connected to such a meaningful initiative. For more information about this important effort, please visit the website at: https://mkecope.com.