For those of you in the Milwaukee area there will be an important meeting about a new privately owned drug treatment facility that is being proposed near to the 14th assembly district. The organization is called Community Medical Services (CMS) and will be holding an informational session on September 10th from 5:30-7pm at the Capitol Library. Address is 3969 N. 74th Street.
I am always looking for viable private options to solve our community’s problems and am very interested to hear their plan for this facility. CMS is following best practices according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. MAT is also considered the gold standard for treatment of opioid addiction by SAMHSA. At first glance, I see no reason why this facility (which will replace a physical therapy clinic) should not be approved to combat our opioid crisis which has caused an increase in heroin deaths of 495% since 2005 according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. I have heard a few people oppose the clinic in their neighborhood, but opening the clinic will not draw in or create addicts. The addicts are already in our neighborhood and most look just like us. They are not the stereotype we’ve been conditioned to envision. They are our neighbors and family who were hooked on prescription opioids before turning to street drugs as a cheaper alternative. You can see that this problem is every by the image below.
The Board of Zoning Appeals will hold a hearing at City Hall in September 13th where they will hear arguments for and against approving the facility as well as make the final decision to approve the zoning appeal.
Data Source: Milwaukee County Medical Examiner – Opioid-related overdose deaths