Latest News

  • February 08, 2022 2:04 PM | Anonymous

    WISAM was a 2022 sponsor for Wisconsin Doctor Day, which was held virtually on Tuesday, February 8. Click on the documents below to view.

  • February 02, 2022 2:46 PM | Anonymous

    Featured in the Wisconsin State Journal | Stop criminalizing opioid addiction | Ritu Bhatnagar | Published January 21, 2022

    Over 1,000 Wisconsinites died of opioid overdose in 2020. One of the most effective interventions to reduce these deaths is treatment with medication for opioid use disorder. Sadly, too few people with opioid use disorder have been able to access treatment.

    Rather, these often-young people end up in the legal system because of punitive laws that direct people to jail rather than treatment. Their lives are negatively impacted for years to come because they now have a felony on their record and are unable to pass background checks or get a job.

    As an addiction medicine professional, I frequently hear of patients who experience an overdose, and because of their overdose end up with criminal possession charges. This approach means that many people are now afraid to call 911 for help when someone is experiencing an overdose -- out of fear of legal involvement.

    Currently, Wisconsin law (911 Good Samaritan Act) does not do enough to protect individuals who experience an overdose. At a time when opioid overdoses are at an all-time high, it is critical that the Wisconsin Legislature update and strengthen the existing Good Samaritan Law.

    Read more.

  • February 02, 2022 2:13 PM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Department of Health Services

    Preventing Opioid Harm in Wisconsin Starts with Real Talks
     Updated Dose of Reality initiative now online

    Governor Evers today joins the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) in announcing  the launch of the updated Dose of Reality initiative today. The goal of this information and education campaign is to change the conversation around Wisconsin’s opioid epidemic. The Dose of Reality initiative provides the tools for all Wisconsinites  to prevent or reduce the risks of opioid use through open and honest talks about the dangers of opioids and ways to save lives.

    “We know that many Wisconsinites struggle with opioid use, and that’s a problem that tragically has only gotten worse over the last few years,” said Gov Evers. “Opioids have ravaged families and communities across our state, and this initiative is just one of the ways that my administration is working to tackle this issue head-on to help folks get on the road to recovery.”

    The updated Dose of Reality initiative is a series of webpages found at that:

    • Provide information on the risks of opioids.
    • Provide information about safe storage and disposal of medications to keep them out of the hands of people who may misuse them.
    • Offer strategies to support people at risk of or experiencing an opioid use disorder.
    • Provide information on naloxone, its availability, and how to use it to reverse an opioid overdose.
    • Help people find treatment and recovery services for an opioid use disorder.

    Read full press release here.

  • January 26, 2022 10:35 AM | Anonymous

    APA Headlines

    Bloomberg Law (1/25, Hansard, Subscription Publication) reports, “Health plans and insurers are failing to deliver parity in mental health coverage as required by law,” according to the 2022 Report to Congress on the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (PDF) issued on Jan. 25 by the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury.

            According to Fierce Healthcare (1/25, Minemyer), the report also “highlights one of the feds’ largest enforcement activities to date on mental health parity: a $15.6 million settlement with UnitedHealthcare.” That insurer “would routinely lower reimbursement rates for out-of-network behavioral health services and would flag members with behavioral health needs for utilization reviews.” Included in the August 2021 settlement were “$13.6 million in wrongfully denied claims and $2 million in lawyer fees and penalties.” 
  • January 26, 2022 10:28 AM | Anonymous

    Department of Health Services | January 2022 Newsletter

    A Message from Paul Krupski, DHS Director of Opioid Initiatives

    Our work to address Wisconsin's opioid epidemic is more important than ever. Provisional data for 2021 show that the number of opioid-related deaths last year is on pace to meet or exceed the record number we experienced in 2020. 

    Our work to save lives this year will be bolstered by new funding that will allow us to create new programs and services to address gaps in our continuum of care. 

    One new funding source will be settlements with opioid manufacturers and distributors. We anticipate several settlements to be finalized in the coming months. Unlike many of our current funding sources, these settlements are not focused on specific parts of the continuum of care. We look forward to maximizing the flexibilities afforded by these funds to support programs and services we have not been able to support in the past due to funding restrictions. 

    Another new funding source is a partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies. Wisconsin was one of five states selected to be part of this program. We will receive $10 million over the next five years. The Bloomberg Philanthropies partnership includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  Foundation, Johns Hopkins University, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and Vital Strategies. We will be working with these organizations to enhance our existing programs and services and implement new strategies. This work also includes advocating for federal policies to expand treatment access and harm reduction services. We are in the planning stage for this funding. We'll share more on our specific plan for this funding later this year.  

    We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has made our collective work to address the opioid epidemic more challenging. Thanks in large part to your work and support, we were making progress in reducing opioid harm prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. We were building healthy communities by advancing prevention strategies, increasing the availability of and access to the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone and other harm reduction services, and improving access to and retention in treatment and recovery services. Staying the course and working with all of you, our statewide partners, we can again begin to see a reduction in opioid-related deaths. 

    Visit the DHS website for more information on opioids. 

  • January 13, 2022 10:47 AM | Anonymous

    The WISAM 2022 Annual Conference is scheduled to be held on October 13-14, 2022 at the Pyle Center in Madison, WI. WISAM is looking for experts in their fields to submit proposals for posters or presentations based on the conference theme "Resilience" to educate and inspire our attendees.

    Presentations will be accepted until May 1. We estimate that all applicants will be notified of the status of their applications by June 1. 

    Addiction medicine professionals, physicians, social workers, nurses, counselors, and more from Wisconsin will gather virtually to learn innovative strategies, cutting-edge ideas, new concepts and best-practice approaches to their work. If you can offer this type of expertise, we want you to share your poster presentation. Share your experience and insights with your peers, while increasing your visibility and enhancing your professional growth.

    For more information and to submit your proposals, please visit our website.

  • January 07, 2022 3:46 PM | Anonymous

    DHS | Opioid Prevention

    The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is hosting a series of virtual listening sessions with stakeholders in January to hear ideas about how the State of Wisconsin could use future opioid settlement funds.

    Currently, four opioid settlements are in process, each with varying and undetermined timelines. While we don’t yet know how much money the State of Wisconsin will receive from these opioid settlements, these listening sessions offer an opportunity for stakeholders to think big about what could be possible with settlement dollars.

    Come with your ideas about what you would like to see happen with settlement dollars. The comments gathered in these sessions will help inform planning once the settlements are finalized.

    We want to hear from all stakeholders, including opioid treatment providers and those with lived experience or who support individuals with opioid use disorders.

    Share your ideas and comments at the listening sessions listed below or by filling out this survey by January 31, 2022.

    Please join us by registering below for one of the 12 public listening sessions in January. (Please note that each session date has a unique link.) Participants can join the Zoom meeting online or call in using a toll-free phone number. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

    If you need a translator or other accommodations, contact at least five business days prior to the session. Interpretation for the listening sessions is available by request in Spanish, Hmong, and American Sign Language.

    Register in advance for all sessions by following the link.

    Partners and stakeholders sessions are scheduled for:

    Public and consumers sessions are scheduled for: Evening sessions scheduled for anyone:
  • December 20, 2021 10:18 AM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Health News

    The Department of Safety and Professional Services will use a recent federal grant to facilitate connections between the state’s program for tracking controlled substances and electronic health records, per a Friday statement. 

    The agency is receiving more than $1.6 million from the Department of Justice for changes to the Enhanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

    The money will go toward expanding adoption of direct workflow integrations and making data more accessible to existing electronic health record systems, with a goal of benefiting providers in rural and underserved parts of Wisconsin. 

    Department of Safety and Professional Services Secretary Dawn Crim said the program has “been an invaluable tool in the state’s multi-faceted effort to address the opioid epidemic.”

    “It has already transformed prescribing culture, and it continues to generate important data about prescribing trends in Wisconsin,” Crim said in a statement. “This additional funding will make it more functional for and more accessible to more providers throughout the state.”

     The department is already pursuing a multi-year project to overhaul the program’s data capabilities, with a goal of finishing that work in 2023. 

  • December 13, 2021 11:32 AM | Anonymous

    Wisconsin Department of Health Services

    For Immediate Release | December 13, 2021
    Contact: Elizabeth Goodsitt/Jennifer Miller 608-266-1683

    La Crosse Lighthouse Peer-Run Respite Opens
     A space for healing mental health and substance use concerns

    Wisconsin’s sixth peer-run respite funded by the Department of Health Services (DHS)—the La Crosse Lighthouse—is now open. It offers a place where people with mental health and substance use challenges can stay in times of increased stress or symptoms and receive support from people who have themselves been mental health and substance use service users.

    “Making sure folks have the mental health and treatment services they need is an essential part of addressing substance use in our state,” said Governor Tony Evers. “Growing the state’s network of peer-run respites is a critically important part of that effort as peer-to-peer connection can help folks address trauma, receive the support they need, and ensure they get on the road to recovery.”

    Established in Wisconsin in 2015, peer-run respites prevent people from experiencing traumatic mental health and substance use crisis situations and costly hospitalizations. During a free stay, guests benefit from one-on-one and group peer support and activities focused on the eight dimensions of wellness guidance from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: emotional, financial, social, spiritual, occupational, physical, intellectual, and environmental. There are no required activities for guests. They are free to come and go during their stay for doctor and therapy appointments, school, work, family, and other responsibilities. In many cases, guests also get connected to community resources designed to support their wellness after their stay.

    View the entire news release.

  • December 09, 2021 10:34 AM | Anonymous

    WMS | Medigram 

    The Wisconsin Medical Society (Society) and the Wisconsin Society of Addiction Medicine (WISAM) joined forces on December 8 to warn state policymakers about the potential harmful effects of kratom – a tree native to southeast Asia whose leaves can contain compounds causing psychotropic effects. The two organizations provided testimony to the State Assembly Committee on State Affairs, asking legislators not to support Assembly Bill 599 – legislation that would legalize two of the substances found in kratom products and create a regulatory scheme that would allow for kratom sales.

    The testimony included a literature review published in the April 2021 edition of the Wisconsin Medical Journal (WMJ) about ongoing experiences with patients suffering from Kratom Use Disorder (KUD), and a case report from a 2016 WMJ on kratom addiction and withdrawal. The testimony also highlighted various U.S. Food and Drug Administration warnings about the drug and how U.S. Marshals have seized numerous shipments of dietary supplements containing kratom over the past several years due to false claims about the product’s safety and efficacy.

    The bill is now eligible for a committee vote. The Society and WISAM will continue to monitor AB 599 and offer to meet with any policymaker who has additional questions. Contact Society Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Mark Grapentine, JD for more information; he will also discuss the bill as one of the topics during the WisMed Friday Report tomorrow, December 10, at 12:15 p.m. Register here for this members-only event. 

Wisconsin Society of Addiction Medicine
563 Carter Court, Suite B,
Kimberly, WI 54136

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