Reducing Drug Harm


The drug overdose epidemic nationally and locally continues to be a public health crisis. The number of people who died of a drug overdose in Dane County from 2019-21 was 51% higher than the number of people who died from 2015-17 (284 to 429). Opioid-involved deaths continue to drive drug overdose death trends.

Each month from February through June, we're offering free virtual trainings on how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose. Read full details and register

Drug Use is a Systemic Problem, Not an Individual One

Substance use disorder is a chronic medical condition. The belief that people can stop using drugs at anytime greatly impacts how systems respond to people who use drugs.

Long-standing systemic racism and bias has created unequal access to resources for communities. From 2019-2021 the drug overdose death rate among Black people was more than 4 times the rate among white people.

We Have the Tools to Help Save Lives

Dane County has many proven tools to prevent death and injury due to drug use. Evolving and expanding harm reduction services are critical to supporting the well-being of people who use drugs.

Some of the ways we work to prevent death and injury due to drug use include:

We’re also working to understand how overdoses are happening locally and to help make systemic changes by:

Shaping national efforts to integrate health equity into overdose prevention and response.

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