Drug and Alcohol Detox Guide For Port Washington, WI
Port Washington is a beautiful waterfront city that enjoys breathtaking views of Lake Michigan. Serving as the county seat of Ozaukee County, Port Washington has a long history as a small city with a love for boating and fishing. Even though the commercial fishing industry is no longer a major part of the economy in Port Washington, the city still celebrates its nautical roots with annual festivals and boat races.
And while it's quite small compared to many nearby cities, Port Washington boasts a population of 12,753. The city has seen slow but steady growth over the past few decades, thanks in part to tourism and its close proximity to Milwaukee. Residents of Port Washington also enjoy a relatively high quality of life. The median household income in Port Washington is $76,609, while the per capita income is $41,874 (both of which are above the state average). The city also has a poverty rate of 5.9%, which is a little over half of the rate recorded in the rest of Wisconsin (10.7%). 
In spite of the city’s aesthetic appeal and strong economy, substance abuse and addiction have taken hold. For years, alcoholism and drug abuse have continued to worsen in Port Washington and the rest of Ozaukee County. Consequently, hundreds of individuals and families have begun looking outside the city limits for treatment and support.
Fortunately, with clinics like Midwest Detox in nearby Brookfield, Port Washington 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 Port Washington, 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 Port Washington, and the resources available to help residents fight addiction.
The Ongoing Substance Abuse Crisis in Port Washington
As a city of just over 12,000 people, Port Washington doesn’t have the resources to manage substance abuse on its own. The first step to reducing substance abuse cases is understanding the severity of the problem. For this reason, Ozaukee County records the number of substance abuse hospitalizations and deaths in Port Washington and other cities throughout the county. While the data is merged to include the entire county, it is still one of the best ways to understand exactly how substance abuse affects the people of Port Washington.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, alcohol-attributable emergency room visits and hospitalizations have both risen since 2014, while alcohol-attributable deaths have been less predictable from one year to the next.   You can see a full breakdown of these statistics in the table below:
|Alcohol Statistics in Ozaukee County
|Emergency Room Visits
*Statistics for 2023 are still preliminary.
Between 2014 and 2021, alcohol-attributable emergency room visits grew by 50.2% in Ozaukee County. Over the same period, alcohol-attributable inpatient hospitalizations grew by just 1.8%. Typically, a higher rate of emergency room visits indicates that more people are requiring emergency overdose care, while comparatively few people are seeking out long-term inpatient treatment. That said, the data for 2022 and 2023 is not yet available, so it’s unclear whether or not these patterns have continued in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The trajectory of alcohol-attributable deaths is far less predictable. While Ozaukee County did see a 25% increase in alcohol deaths between 2014 and 2022, the figures varied substantially during this period. However, it’s important to note that Ozaukee County has not recorded single-digit alcohol deaths since 2018, and the preliminary data for 2023 already indicates that alcohol deaths for the year may outpace those recorded in 2022. So, based on the available data, it appears that alcohol abuse is only getting worse in Ozaukee County.
Opioid hospitalizations and deaths have followed different trends in Ozaukee County. Opioid-attributable emergency room visits have seen little change, inpatient hospitalizations have declined, and deaths have increased since 2014.   You can see the annual figures for opioid abuse in Ozaukee County in the table below:
|Opioid Statistics in Ozaukee County
|Emergency Room Visits
Opioid-attributable emergency room visits have varied quite a bit from year to year, peaking at 31 in 2019. However, there has technically been no change between 2014 and 2022, with both years ending in 21 total ER visits. Alternatively, opioid-attributable inpatient hospitalizations declined by 30% since 2014. The data related to opioid-attributable deaths in Ozaukee County is a little more complicated, as no figures are available for 2018. However, as the table shows, opioid deaths increased by an astounding 200% between 2014 and 2021. If this trend continues, we will likely see even higher death tolls in 2022, 2023, 2024, and beyond.
Aside from alcohol and prescription opioids, Ozaukee County sees relatively few instances of drug abuse with stimulants and illicit opioids. Nonetheless, these drugs also contribute to deaths nearly every year. For example, Ozaukee County records an annual average of 2.8 heroin deaths, 3.5 cocaine deaths, and 0.7 meth deaths per 100,000 residents. 
What does all of this mean for the city of Port Washington? While Port Washington is the county seat of Ozaukee County, it only accounts for about 13.6% of the county population. As a result, the figures above do not all originate in Port Washington. A large percentage originate in the city of Mequon, but it is estimated that as much as 25% of all substance abuse cases and deaths recorded in the county can be traced back to Port Washington.
How Port Washington Compares to the Rest of Wisconsin
Once again, understanding how Port Washington compares to all of Wisconsin requires us to look at the data available in Ozaukee County. As of 2021, Ozaukee was the 29th worst and 21st worst county in the state (out of 72 counties) for the total number of alcohol-attributable emergency room visits and inpatient hospitalizations, respectively. However, the county fares better than most other counties at staving off overdose deaths, ranking as the 56th worst county in the state for this statistic. It’s important to consider these figures in conjunction with the fact that Wisconsin is the worst state in the nation for binge drinking. 
The comparisons become more complex when looking at opioid hospitalizations and deaths. Ozaukee County records an annual average of 18.7 opioid-attributable emergency room visits per 100,000 residents, compared to 54.5 in all of Wisconsin. On the other hand, Ozaukee County records an annual average of 24.2 opioid-attributable inpatient hospitalizations per 100,000 residents, compared to just 19.5 statewide. Lastly, the county records an annual average of 20.4 opioid-attributable deaths per 100,000 residents, compared to 24.6 in Wisconsin.
To get a more accurate picture of the direct impact of substance abuse at the city level, let’s look at some of the most recent findings related to overdoses and deaths in Port Washington, Wisconsin:
- Annual Overdoses: 39
- Alcohol-Related Deaths: 4
- Opioid-Related Deaths: 4
- Non-Opioid Drug-Related Deaths: 1
Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Efforts in Port Washington
The city of Port Washington does not have any prevention, treatment, or recovery programs of its own. Instead, like many smaller cities throughout Wisconsin, it relies on the county and state for support. Residents can access various educational resources through the Ozaukee County Public Health Department. The department’s weekly meetings focus on three primary goals that committee members hope to meet by 2025:
- Decrease substance abuse among youth by 10%
- Raise awareness and decrease the stigma surrounding substance abuse
- Raise awareness about harm reduction efforts
As a complement to these local programs, Wisconsin runs the State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (SCAODA), which manages dozens of programs and initiatives across the state. Port Washington 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 Port Washington, Wisconsin
Port Washington is a beautiful city and a truly great place to live, work, and raise a family. Despite all of the positive aspects of living in Port Washington, the city cannot ignore the damage done by substance abuse. Every day, more people are feeding their addictions, and, with limited local resources, many residents feel like they have nowhere to turn.
Thankfully, there is help close by. Midwest Detox is a private detox clinic in Brookfield (just a 40-minute drive from Port Washington) that offers enhanced care and detox services for those struggling with a substance use disorder. At Midwest Detox, we ensure that you remain comfortable and safe throughout the entire process. Additionally, we provide top-notch care and attention to help give you the skills you need to continue your recovery in rehab and beyond.
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.