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  • Poisoning has steadily increased in the past 10 years and has surpassed motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of injury death.
  • The majority of all poisonings, both death and those that end up at the hospital, are due to drugs - prescription, over-the-counter, and illicit.
  • Of particular concern, are opiate pain medications that can result in dependence and abuse.
Dane County Drug Poisoning Data, including deaths, hospital visits, those revived from an overdose, youth drug behavior and AODA treatment for Dane County residents.

Local Strategies to Address this Epidemic

In Dane County, a community-wide, multidisciplinary approach is being coordinated by Safe Communities, a local public-private partnership that supports and sustains a range of safety initiatives.
  • In January, 2012, Safe Communities, in partnership with Public Health, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin and County Executive Joe Parisi, convened a Summit entitled "Drug Poisoning: Stop the Overdose Epidemic." 130 stakeholders were brought together to begin building a community-wide, collaborative strategy to address this issue. Recommendations were made and priorities were set in multiple strategy areas.
  • In April, 2013, there was a Drug Poisoning Summit Reunion. Mayor Paul Soglin and County Executive Joe Parisi welcomed the 75 multidisciplinary participants. Updates on steps taken since the Summit were given and the next steps were discussed.
  • For details of Summit and the Summit Reunion, including recommendations and updates in the strategy areas:
  • For a visual of the multidisciplinary approach taken by Safe Communities:
  • For a presentation, given at WPHA Conference 2013, that provides data and information about action taken by the Dane County Initiative:
  • As part of the overdose initiative, Public Health MDC conducted an overdose survey with over 1100 people, including current and past drug users, law enforcement and EMS from Dane County. For a summary of results of the survey and a focus group:

Reducing Access to Medications - MedDrop Expanded

The MedDrop Program provides a place for people to dispose of their unwanted medications. Unwanted drugs may unintentionally be consumed by children and others. Medications may also be taken deliberately to be used for non-medical reasons. The Safe Communities' MedDrop program currently provides twelve permanent drop boxes for year round disposal of medications:
  • Cambridge Police Department
  • Deerfield Police Department
  • Fitchburg Police Department
  • Madison Police East District
  • Madison Police West District
  • Mazomanie Police Department
  • McFarland Police Department
  • Middleton Police Department
  • Oregon Police Department
  • Sun Prairie Police Department
  • University of Wisconsin Police Department, Madison
  • Waunakee Police Department

MedDrop Resource Information