Drug and Alcohol Detox Guide For Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin is a beautiful place to live, work, and raise a family, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. In fact, Milwaukee has one of the highest violent crime rates in the country. Your chances of becoming a victim of violent crime in “Brew City” are roughly 1 in 60. To put that figure into perspective, the chances of becoming a victim of violent crime in NYC is about 1 in 192. 
But crime isn’t the only concern for Milwaukee residents. Addiction continues to grow in the city, and though drugs and alcohol are often linked to higher crime rates, the severity of the addiction crisis doesn’t always make the headlines. Opioids continue to be the drug of choice for many people in Milwaukee and the rest of Wisconsin. Every day, more people are succumbing to opioid abuse and struggling to reclaim their lives.
However, Milwaukee doesn’t need to be a story of doom and gloom. Thanks to local and state programs, many people and organizations are fighting back against addiction. Moreover, clinics like Midwest Detox are making it easier than ever to begin the recovery process in a safe, comfortable inpatient facility.
But even if you’re experiencing addiction firsthand, you may not realize the toll it is taking on your mind and body, as well as the people around you. Before you begin your recovery journey, it’s important to understand exactly how addiction affects your local community. Continue reading to learn more about substance abuse in Milwaukee and the role that detox can play in saving lives.
The Ongoing Substance Abuse Crisis in Milwaukee
Though the population has been in decline for the past few decades, Milwaukee is still the most populous city in the state, with more than 569,000 residents (as of 2021). All of Milwaukee County accounts for roughly 939,000 people, and many of the city’s substance abuse statistics are calculated at the county level. That said, the vast majority of the county’s overdose cases occur within the Milwaukee city limits.
According to data provided by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Milwaukee County saw 597 alcohol-related deaths in 2022 alone. This figure represents an improvement from alcohol-related deaths during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which peaked at 699 in 2021. Unlike some other major cities in the region, Milwaukee has recorded a higher number of older residents dying from alcohol-related causes. In fact, nearly half of all alcohol-related deaths involved people who were 65 years or older. 
The number of opioid-related deaths in Milwaukee County tells a much different story. Between 2014 and 2023, the county recorded an average of 80 opioid-related deaths per month. The worst month was January of 2022 when the county recorded a staggering 152 deaths. And while opioids have quickly overtaken alcohol as the top cause of overdose in the city, the demographics of opioid abusers are very different. People between the ages of 18 and 44 account for more than 43% of all opioid overdose deaths in the county, while people over the age of 65% account for less than 7%. 
And though alcohol and opioids cause the most overdoses, deaths, and hospitalizations in Milwaukee County, it’s important to understand the impact of other substances. For example, southeastern Wisconsin saw 549 cocaine deaths in 2021, many of which occurred in Milwaukee. Similarly, the same region recorded 162 heroin deaths in 2021 and approximately 117 deaths involving more than one substance. 
Since these figures are calculated at the county and regional levels, it’s important to remember that the exact statistics can vary a little in Milwaukee. Based on data provided by the city of Milwaukee, it is estimated that Milwaukee experienced roughly 498 alcohol deaths, 576 opioid deaths, 216 cocaine deaths, and 108 heroin deaths in 2022 alone. The number of deaths involving more than one drug is unclear, though the combination of any of the aforementioned substances greatly increases the risk of overdose and death.
How Milwaukee Compares to the Rest of Wisconsin
Milwaukee’s addiction crisis continues to worsen with each passing year, reflecting similar trends throughout Wisconsin and the rest of the country. However, the extent of the epidemic is far more grim in Milwaukee County. For example, the state of Wisconsin recorded approximately 53 alcohol-related deaths per 100,000 residents in 2022, while Milwaukee County recorded 72.3 alcohol-related deaths per 100,000 residents.
The statistics for opioid deaths paint an even darker picture of the city. In 2022, Wisconsin recorded 24.6 opioid-related deaths per 100,000 residents, while the figure for Milwaukee County was nearly double at 54.9 per 100,000 residents. The statistics for stimulants and other non-opioid drugs are less clear, though it is estimated that Milwaukee County (and the surrounding area) have accounted for nearly 3x as many drug deaths as the rest of the state.
And these stats only consider drug and alcohol abuse that ends in death. Hospitalizations due to overdose have also increased statewide, though Milwaukee County continues to see figures that are between 30% and 50% higher than the state average. 
Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Efforts in Milwaukee
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city of Milwaukee has sought to increase its efforts to combat addiction, particularly as it relates to opioids. The city of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, and Wisconsin have various programs and initiatives to educate people on the dangers of drugs and alcohol. For example, Milwaukee County offers various addiction treatment resources through the Community Access to Recovery Services (CARS). Additionally, Wisconsin offers statewide data and services via prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP).
Unfortunately, these efforts have proven wholly insufficient in eradicating or even reducing the ongoing problem. While deaths and hospitalizations have temporarily gone down from the highs recorded during the pandemic, the numbers have trended upward over the last decade. For this reason, many residents of Milwaukee and the surrounding area turn to private detox facilities like Midwest Detox or inpatient recovery facilities like Wellbrook Recovery for help.
Drug and Alcohol Detox in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Drug and alcohol addiction is a threat to the health and safety of Milwaukee residents, but substance abuse is more than just a series of statistics. If you or a loved one are currently fighting addiction, you know that it’s a deeply personal struggle. Fortunately, you don’t have to struggle alone.
At Midwest Detox, you can safely and comfortably cleanse your body of toxic substances and take the first important steps toward recovery. Not only do we have the experience and training to treat substance abuse, but we also offer a wide range of treatment methods to make sure that you are prepared for long-term sobriety.
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.