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Dose of Reality: Opioids in Wisconsin


Opioids are powerful drugs. Prescription pain relievers, fentanyl, and heroin hurt Wisconsin residents every day. More people die of opioid overdoses in Wisconsin each year than car crashes. But there is something more powerful than opioids: All of us. Together, we can reduce the dangers of opioids and their impact on our communities.


Prevent opioid harm. It starts with real talks.

Real talks are open and honest conversations. Talking with the people in your life about opioids can be awkward, but it is one of the most important things you do for them. Real talks create a supportive community where prevention, hope, and recovery can happen. Don't worry, real talks are easier than you think. Check out our helpful suggestions and tips for having real talks.

Three steps to save lives

There are simple ways to reduce the dangers of opioid use. Whether it is following tips for safer use, disposing of unused medications, or knowing how to respond to an overdose, it all makes a difference.


Use safely

Learn how to lower your risk of an infection and overdose.


Get rid of unused medications

Learn where you can take your leftover medications for safe disposal. 


Respond to an overdose

Learn how to use NARCAN® to reverse an opioid overdose.


Recovery is possible. Help is all around you.

Opioid use disorder is a medical condition that can affect anyone who uses opioids. Wherever you or someone you care about may be in a struggle with opioids, there are people ready to help. In Wisconsin, no one is alone in their journey to overcome opioid use disorder. 



Information for pharmacists, prescribers, and other professionals

Pharmacists, prescribers, and other professionals are key partners in safely managing prescriptions, increasing access to medication that reverses an opioid overdose, and offering high-quality treatment to people with an opioid disorder. 

Track Wisconsin's opioid epidemic

We collect and analyze data to identify where communities are struggling, help tailor our response, and show improvements in health and wellness. The data tells a story: the opioid epidemic affects all genders, all races, and many age groups in both rural and urban communities. In 2021, the latest full year of data available, there were 1,427 deaths in Wisconsin related to opioids.


Promote the Dose of Reality initiative

Join us in building healthy communities by promoting the Dose of Reality initiative in your community. We have developed drop-in articles, flyers/handouts, online display advertisements/website images, social media posts, and videos for you to share. 



Join our email list

Sign up to receive alerts, data and reports, newsletters, and event invitations regarding Wisconsin's opioid epidemic.

Last revised January 27, 2023