Drug and Alcohol Detox Guide For Madison, Wisconsin
Among major cities in the Midwest, Madison, Wisconsin stands out as a great place to live and raise a family. Compared to nearby cities like Milwaukee, the crime rate is relatively low. Similarly, both the cost of living and the unemployment rate are much lower than in most other large cities in the state. However, Madison is no stranger to problems, particularly when it comes to addiction.
The city of Madison is home to about 269,000 people, with a population that continues to grow each year. And while economic prospects for Madison and the rest of Dane County look promising, the addiction crisis continues to make life difficult for thousands of residents. Though alcohol is not as much of a problem in Madison, at least compared to cities like Milwaukee and Green Bay, opioids are a major issue. In fact, Madison is among the worst cities in the state when it comes to opioid-related deaths.
However, Madison doesn’t have to be a cautionary tale. There are plenty of local resources and organizations to help fight addiction, spread awareness, and restore lives. Moreover, clinics like Midwest Detox are making it easier than ever to begin the recovery process in a safe, comfortable inpatient facility.
But the presence of high-quality recovery programs and state-sponsored initiatives does not erase the human toll of addiction in Madison, Wisconsin. The reality is that thousands of people succumb to addiction every year throughout the state, and many of those deaths happen in Madison and Dane County. Continue reading to learn more about the effects of drug and alcohol abuse in Madison, as well as the role that detox can play in helping Madison residents advance in their recovery efforts.
The Ongoing Substance Abuse Crisis in Madison
As the county seat and the biggest city in Dane County, Madison accounts for a large percentage of the region’s population. That said, Dane County is more than twice as large as Madison, with a population of more than 563,000 people. And since substance abuse data is collected at the county and state levels, this can make it a little more difficult to determine exactly how much substance abuse affects the residents of Madison.
However, data collected by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services indicates that alcohol is not a major contributor to deaths in Madison. The county recorded just 217 alcohol-related deaths in 2022, which means that it ranks 61st in the state (out of 72 counties) for total annual deaths attributed to alcohol. It is also far better off than many counties throughout southern Wisconsin, including nearby Columbia County. 
Sadly, Madison has not faired as well in the face of the opioid epidemic. In fact, the county has recorded a total of 749 opioid-related deaths over the past 6 years, and the numbers continue to rise each year. The annual rate of opioid deaths doubled between 2014 and 2022. And while prescription opioids account for a substantial percentage of overdose deaths in Dane County, the vast majority of deaths are attributable to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. 
Even when substance abuse does not lead to death, it can still cause various health problems and emergencies. This is evident in the hospitalization data coming out of Dane County. In 2022, the county recorded more than 3,000 and 400 emergency room visits due to alcohol and opioids, respectively. 
It’s important to remember that most of these figures account for all of Dane County, which is more than twice the size of Madison. According to Madison’s internal data, roughly 63% of the drug and alcohol deaths in the county originated in Madison. More specifically, Madison recorded 104 alcohol-related deaths and 108 opioid-related deaths in 2022 alone.
How Madison Compares to the Rest of Wisconsin
As previously mentioned, Madison is among the cities least touched by alcohol-related deaths in the state of Wisconsin. Nonetheless, when looking at the country as a whole, Madison still fairs worse than many comparable cities. This is because Wisconsin has the highest rates of binge drinking in the country, with more than 1 in 4 Wisconsin adults binge drinking regularly. 
But to say that Madison is untouched by alcohol would be incorrect. Thanks in large part to a strong healthcare system, high-quality facilities, and various substance abuse initiatives, most cases of alcohol poisoning or overdose that occur in Dane County do not result in deaths. However, Dane County records more alcohol-related hospitalizations than every other county in the state, with the exception of Milwaukee County.
Even though Madison has done well to minimize deaths caused by alcohol, the city has not done as well to combat the harm caused by opioids. On average, Dane County sees more hospitalizations and deaths resulting from opioids than the rest of the state. In 2021, Wisconsin recorded a statewide average of 24.6 opioid deaths per 100,000 residents, while Dane County recorded 26.1. Over the same span of time, Wisconsin estimated that 53.7 out of 100,000 residents had to go to the emergency room as a direct result of opioid abuse, while that figure skyrocketed to 72.9 in Dane County. Again, this indicates that, while substance abuse is very prevalent in Madison and the rest of Dane County, the region does a better job of preventing deaths than the rest of the state.
The data is more complex when accounting for overdoses and hospitalizations involving multiple addictive substances. More than half of all drug deaths in Wisconsin involve a combination of substances, with opioids being one of the most common risk factors. And though Dane County is worse than Wisconsin as a whole when it comes to opioids (including heroin), it does not see as many deaths related to alcohol, meth, or cocaine. 
Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Efforts in Madison
As previously mentioned, Madison is known for taking an active role in public safety and substance abuse. Currently, there are two major substance abuse programs operating out of the area: the Madison Area Addiction Recovery Initiative (MAARI) and the Dane County Narcotics Task Force. The MAARI helps guide drug abusers to detox and rehab programs, and the Narcotics Task Force works to fight the illegal drug trade throughout the county.
At the state level, Madison relies on various programs designed to minimize deaths and educate youth on the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Wisconsin manages many of these programs under the umbrella and authority of the State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (SCAODA). Additionally, many city and county police departments in Wisconsin (including those in Madison and Dane County) operate free, anonymous prescription drug drop-off boxes.
But based on the statistics outlined above, the efforts in Madison and the rest of Wisconsin have not completely curbed the growing addiction problem. Every day, another person in Wisconsin loses their life as a direct result of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of the two. As a result, many residents of Madison turn to private detox facilities like Midwest Detox or inpatient recovery facilities like Wellbrook Recovery for help.
Drug and Alcohol Detox in Madison, Wisconsin
Madison may be struggling to stem the tide of addiction, but this doesn’t mean you should give up hope. If you or a loved one are looking for drug or alcohol detox in Wisconsin, consider reaching out to our experts at Midwest Detox. Not only do we provide comprehensive care in a comfortable, inpatient facility, but we also give a helping hand when it’s needed the most.
At Midwest Detox, you can rest easy knowing that your body will be cleansed of addictive substances in a safe environment. Our highly trained staff is available 24/7 to take care of your needs and help you develop the skills to beat your addiction for good.
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.