Drug and Alcohol Detox Guide For Fitchburg, Wisconsin

Despite having a long history that dates back to 1839, Fitchburg was not incorporated as a city until 1983. This action was taken to prevent further encroachment on the then-town of Fitchburg by nearby Madison. Fitchburg is one of the most diverse settings in all of Wisconsin, as it is comprised of urban, suburban, and rural areas, as well as substantial industrial and commercial sectors. Some parts of Fitchburg are so rural, in fact, that they do not have access to the city’s sewer or water systems.

Despite the varied areas throughout the city, it remains one of the fastest-growing cities in the area. Between 1990 and 2020, Fitchburg grew from 15,952 to 29,592. Today, the city boasts a population of 30,834. Part of the reason for the rising population is the growing number of job opportunities and the lower cost of living (compared to nearby Madison). Nonetheless, Fitchburg is counted as part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area and one of the largest cities in Dane County.

Fitchburg has a strong economy, with a median household income of $78,218, which is well above Wisconsin’s median of $67,080.[1] However, there is a large disparity in wealth among residents of Fitchburg. This disparity became worse during the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic downturn that followed. Roughly 10.4% of the city’s population lives below the poverty line, with many of these residents living in rural parts of Fitchburg.

Rising economic anxieties have only worsened substance abuse throughout Dane County, especially in cities like Fitchburg. Alcohol and opioids are the two most commonly abused substances in the region, though other drugs (particularly stimulants) also contribute to the ongoing crisis. Fortunately, with clinics like Midwest Detox nearby, Fitchburg residents can begin their recovery journey with the assistance of trained professionals. This way, they have a much better chance of getting sober and staying sober for good.

If you or a loved one live in Fitchburg, Wisconsin and are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, you should consider seeking out professional help as soon as possible. It could mean the difference between life and death. That said, we understand that starting the recovery process is not always easy.

Continue reading to learn more about the current substance abuse crisis in Fitchburg, and the resources available to help residents fight addiction.

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    The Ongoing Substance Abuse Crisis in Fitchburg

    Fitchburg makes up just a small part of Dane County. According to the latest figures, Dane County has a population of approximately 563,951, which means that Fitchburg only accounts for roughly 5.5% of the total county population. This matters because all Fitchburg substance abuse cases are recorded and monitored at the county level. Separating Fitchburg’s cases from the rest of the cities throughout Dane County can be complicated. Still, it’s important to consider the entirety of Dane County to see how it compares to the city of Fitchburg and the rest of Wisconsin.

    According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Dane County has recorded high rates of alcohol emergency room visits and inpatient hospitalizations in recent years. Inpatient hospitalizations in Dane County have remained pretty consistent over the last two decades, while emergency room visits related to alcohol abuse saw a substantial spike in 2013. Emergency room visits have continued to rise along with alcohol-attributable deaths in the years since.[2][3] You can see a full breakdown of these statistics in the table below:

    Alcohol Statistics in Dane County
    Year Emergency Room Visits Inpatient Hospitalizations Deaths
    2014 2,647 2,261 143
    2015 3,073 2,359 155
    2016 2,801 2,476 160
    2017 2,787 2,283 187
    2018 2,919 2,409 197
    2019 3,095 2,579 210
    2020 2,891 2,288 225
    2021 3,134 2,491 256
    2022 N/A N/A 255

    As you can see from the table, alcohol-related emergency room visits rose by 18.3% between 2014 and 2021, while alcohol-related inpatient hospitalizations rose by 10.1% over the same period. Between 2014 and 2022, Dane County recorded an increase in alcohol-attributable deaths of 78.3%. These figures show that deaths caused by alcohol abuse in Dane County are increasing much faster than the rate of people seeking treatment (urgent or otherwise) for their condition.

    Preliminary data from 2023 does not show much improvement over previous years. Between January and March of 2023, the county recorded 34 alcohol-attributable deaths. If nothing changes, this means that 2023 will see just as many alcohol deaths as 2022, if not more.

    Opioid abuse has created an even more dire situation than alcohol in Dane County. Emergency room visits have increased dramatically over the past few years, while the number of patients seeking inpatient treatment has declined. Between 2014 and 2021, opioid-attributable deaths more than doubled.[4][5] You can see the annual figures for opioid abuse in Dane County in the table below:

    Opioid Statistics in Dane County
    Year Emergency Room Visits Inpatient Hospitalizations Deaths
    2014 136 159 61
    2015 202 135 56
    2016 280 156 88
    2017 319 159 92
    2018 280 108 85
    2019 322 122 105
    2020 364 120 123
    2021 394 107 139
    2022 321 100 N/A

    The one promising sign from the data above is that the rate of opioid hospitalizations may be decreasing since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Emergency room visits peaked in 2021, while inpatient hospitalizations peaked in 2020. Initial data for 2022 and 2023 show that opioid deaths may be declining, but it’s still too early to tell.

    Considering its large population, Dane County has relatively few substance abuse cases that do not involve either alcohol or opioids. Cocaine and crystal meth, for example, are not very common in the county. However, both of these drugs (as well as other stimulants) still cause dozens of deaths each year.[6]

    So what does this mean for the city of Fitchburg? The truth is that most of the substance abuse cases recorded in Dane County originate in the city of Madison. This only makes sense, as Madison has a population of over 270,000. However, Fitchburg’s close proximity to Madison means that many of the same problems that affect Madison — such as easy access to prescription opioids and street drugs — also affect Fitchburg. As a result, Fitchburg only accounts for about 5.5% of the county population, but it contributes more than 8% of the substance abuse cases recorded in Dane County.

    How Fitchburg Compares to the Rest of Wisconsin

    Substance abuse is much more prevalent in Fitchburg and Dane County than it is in the rest of Wisconsin. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Dane County is the 2nd worst county in the state for alcohol-related hospitalizations of any kind. However, Dane County sees fewer alcohol-attributable deaths than the state average: Dane County records an average of 48 alcohol deaths per 100,000 residents, compared to 55 in Wisconsin. When looking at these statistics, it’s also important to consider that Wisconsin is among the worst states in the nation for alcohol abuse, with 1 in 4 adults regularly engaging in binge drinking.[7]

    Dane County compares even less favorably to the rest of the state when it comes to opioids. The county sees an average of 72.3 opioid-related emergency room visits per 100,000 residents, compared to 54.5 in Wisconsin. The rates of inpatient hospitalizations caused by opioids are far closer: 19.6 in Dane County and 19.5 in Wisconsin. The county also sees higher rates of death caused by opioids compared to the rest of Wisconsin. In Dane County, there are an average of 26.1 opioid deaths per 100,000 residents, compared to 24.6 in all of Wisconsin.

    These figures offer a glimpse into the rise of substance abuse in Dane County, but once again, many of these cases originate in the city of Madison. To get a more accurate picture of substance abuse at the local level, let’s look at some of the most recent findings related to overdoses and deaths in Fitchburg, Wisconsin:

    • Annual Overdoses: 166
    • Alcohol-Related Deaths: 21
    • Opioid-Related Deaths: 11
    • Non-Opioid Drug-Related Deaths: 3

    Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Efforts in Fitchburg

    Currently, the city of Fitchburg, Wisconsin does not offer any programs to prevent or treat substance abuse. This means that residents either need to seek out private help or look for resources provided at the county and state levels. Dane County’s Department of Human Services manages several programs to support local residents struggling with addiction. Some of these include the Behavioral Health Resource Center (BHRC) and Comprehensive Community Services (CCS) for Medicaid patients who require substance abuse treatment. Fitchburg residents can also use the county’s 24-hour crisis intervention hotline.

    As a complement to these county programs, Wisconsin runs the State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (SCAODA), which manages dozens of programs and initiatives across the state. Fitchburg residents also seek out help from detox clinics like Midwest Detox, as well as quality inpatient rehab clinics like Wellbrook Recovery.

    Drug and Alcohol Detox in Fitchburg, Wisconsin

    Fitchburg may get overshadowed by nearby Madison, but it is still a beautiful community in southern Wisconsin. Sadly, many residents of Fitchburg have struggled with substance abuse for years, and a lack of city-level resources makes it even more difficult to recover. As the numbers coming out of Dane County show, the substance abuse crisis is only getting worse, not better. For this reason, it is more important than ever that the people of Fitchburg can access the treatment they need.

    Fortunately, there is help close by. Midwest Detox is a private detox clinic located in Brookfield, just an hour’s drive from Fitchburg. At Midwest Detox, we implement proven treatments and methodologies to help cleanse you of addictive substances and learn how to stay sober for the long term. We also offer discreet and modern accommodations to ensure that you remain as comfortable as possible throughout the detoxing process.

    When it comes to addiction, there is no time like the present. So, if you or someone you love is in need of drug or alcohol detox, reach out to Midwest Detox today and begin your journey to recovery.