Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 1:54pm

Mayor Paul Soglin is representing the City of Madison at the Mayors’ Institute on Opioids hosted by the National League of Cities (NLC), leading a four-member delegation representing the area, including Madison, Public Health Madison & Dane County and the Madison Police Department.

"This will be a great opportunity to learn from the experiences of others who are committed to fighting the opioid epidemic in their community," said Mayor Soglin. "This includes an increased knowledge of best practices and strategies to support and improve Madison’s efforts to prevent initiation, reduce drug harm, increase treatment access, and support a community of recovery."

Of specific interest to the Mayor is the formation of an Overdose Outreach Team. Multiple conversations with a variety of stakeholders – public safety, human services, community organizations, public health – identify a desire to respond and outreach to nonfatal overdose victims in an effort to engage them in treatment and equip them with harm reduction strategies.

The Mayors’ Institute on Opioids, being held this week in Boston, provides an opportunity for local leaders to engage in practical, solutions-oriented discussions and peer-to-peer learning opportunities. The immersive three-day event will be followed by 12 months of ongoing expert assistance tailored to each participating city’s needs, with the work building on local efforts already underway.

Cities participating with Madison in the Mayors’ Institute included Huntington, West Virginia; Knoxville, Tennessee; Manchester, New Hampshire; New Bedford, Massachusetts; and Tacoma, Washington.

Participating mayors are bringing teams that include county and state officials. As is well recognized, there are no silver bullets and it will take cities working together and in collaboration with state and other local leaders to turn the tide to effectively address the challenge.

At the intensive three-day meeting, the group will examine their respective strengths and weaknesses and discuss key areas ranging from prevention, treatment and recovery to effective harm reduction efforts.

"Our country has struggled with how to respond to major substance abuse and mental health issues in the recent past, but we have an opportunity to learn from mistakes, and ultimately prevent and treat individuals suffering from addiction," said NLC President and CEO Clarence E. Anthony. "We must continue to understand what’s working, what’s not and build stronger paths forward. Our only chance at confronting and overcoming the opioid epidemic is to work together."

Going forward, NLC will share best practices from the Mayors’ Institute, as well as additional lessons learned from the cities during the year of technical assistance that follows. The goal over the coming months is to create a ripple effect and provide information and insights that help every city leader who is grappling with this crisis.

For more information on NLC’s longstanding work on the opioid crisis, including recommendations from our Opioid Task Force, click here.

To read the NLC Institute for Youth, Education, and Families (YEF Institute) backgrounder on the Mayors’ Institute on Opioids click here.

The National League of Cities is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans. The Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, a special entity within the National League of Cities, helps municipal leaders take action on behalf of the children, youth, and families in their communities

Contacts

  • Katie Crawley, Mayor’s Office608-266-4611
  • Todd Allen Wilson, Natl. League of Cities202-626-3123wilson@nlc.org