Drug and Alcohol Detox Guide For Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Stevens Point is a mid-sized city in Portage County, where it serves as the county seat. It is also the largest city in the county, with a population of 26,717 as of 2022. However, the city’s population has remained pretty stagnant over the last few decades, and the residents of Stevens Point are no strangers to economic hardship. The city currently has a median household income of $53,611, which is well below the state median of $71,301.

The city of Stevens Point has also been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, rising inflation, and the ongoing economic crisis in the United States. Approximately 16.4% of the city’s population lives below the poverty line, compared to 10.4% in the rest of Portage County and 10.7% in all of Wisconsin. [1] Economic hardship serves as one of the primary drivers of substance abuse on a larger scale in Portage County, but many residents of Stevens Point have been struggling with drug and alcohol addiction for years, and for a variety of reasons.

Sadly, there are very few local government resources available to get people on the path to sobriety in Stevens Point. This can leave many residents feeling stuck and hopeless. Fortunately, with clinics like Midwest Detox nearby, Stevens Point 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 Stevens Point, 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 Stevens Point, and the resources available to help residents fight addiction.

In This Article
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    The Ongoing Substance Abuse Crisis in Stevens Point

    Stevens Point accounts for about 38.1% of the county’s 70,019 residents. This is an important factor because all of the substance abuse cases in Stevens Point are collected at the county level and are combined with the statistics from smaller cities in the area like Carson and Stockton. However, well over half of the substance abuse cases recorded at the county level occur in Stevens Point, so looking at the county-wide statistics still gives us an accurate picture of the ongoing crisis in the city.

    According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the past 8 years have seen alcohol-related emergency room visits in Portage County increase by 68.5%, while inpatient hospitalizations declined by 17.9% over the same period. Alcohol-attributable deaths in Portage County have seen less consistency, though the total number of deaths has increased over the past few years. [2] [3] You can see a full breakdown of these statistics in the table below:

    Alcohol Statistics in Portage County
    Year Emergency Room Visits Inpatient Hospitalizations Deaths
    2014 216 418 13
    2015 256 411 11
    2016 227 435 13
    2017 234 449 8
    2018 307 503 11
    2019 314 415 10
    2020 341 359 20
    2021 364 343 23
    2022 N/A N/A 12

    Typically it’s a good sign (to a degree) when inpatient hospitalizations outnumber emergency room visits. This often indicates that more people are seeking out treatment for their addictions, rather than waiting to experience an overdose in an emergency room. However, the number of inpatient hospitalizations involving alcohol is in decline in Portage County, while the number of emergency room visits is on the rise. In 2021, alcohol emergency room visits outnumbered inpatient hospitalizations for the first time since the county began collecting this type of data in 2007.

    And while deaths have technically been on the rise, there is less of a consistent trend to analyze in Portage County. Like many counties, Portage saw an increase in alcohol-attributable deaths during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic (2020 and 2021). Data for 2022 and 2023 is still preliminary, but as of April 2023, there have been 7 alcohol deaths recorded in Portage County. This could indicate that alcohol deaths are once again on the rise.

    Opioids are also commonly abused in Portage County, though the data has not always been easy to collect. In some years, the county failed to collect sufficient information related to emergency room visits and deaths caused by opioids. Nonetheless, it’s important to look at the data that is available, which indicates that emergency room visits and deaths are increasing, while inpatient hospitalizations are declining. [4] [5] You can see the annual figures for opioid abuse in Portage County in the table below:

    Opioid Statistics in Portage County
    Year Emergency Room Visits Inpatient Hospitalizations Deaths
    2014 N/A 16 5
    2015 12 10 N/A
    2016 9 15 6
    2017 5 15 N/A
    2018 9 14 N/A
    2019 20 10 5
    2020 13 8 7
    2021 19 6 10
    2022 12 7 N/A

    As you can see, opioid abuse is less common than alcohol abuse in Stevens Point and Portage County. However, the lack of consistent data is troubling, especially since it seems that opioid addiction is on the rise. The number of opioid-attributable deaths doubled between 2014 and 2021. Meanwhile, emergency room visits spiked between 2019 and 2021, while inpatient hospitalizations have been cut in half over the past 8 years. All of these factors show that, while Stevens Point may not be as severely affected as other cities in Wisconsin, the opioid crisis appears to be worsening with time.

    It’s important to remember that alcohol and opioids are not the only killers in Portage County. While most cases of opioid abuse in the area involve prescription drugs, heroin deaths also occur nearly every year (albeit in very small numbers). Meth is even more prevalent, causing roughly 4.2 deaths annually per 100,000 residents. [6]

    Since the figures for Portage County are larger than those for the city of Stevens Point, it’s important to dissect the data and see exactly how many cases originate in the city itself. Based on coroner’s reports and data collected at the city level, it is estimated that 67% of the substance abuse cases in Portage County originate in Stevens Point. This means that Stevens Point contributes far more than its share (based on population alone) of substance abuse cases to the county data.

    How Stevens Point Compares to the Rest of Wisconsin

    Stevens Point represents a fairly small sample size, particularly when compared to the rest of Wisconsin. That said, it does have a relatively high rate of alcohol abuse. As of 2021, Portage County was the 25th and 24th worst county in the state (out of 72 counties) for alcohol emergency room visits and inpatient hospitalizations. Portage County also matched the state average for alcohol-attributable deaths at 55 deaths per 100,000 residents. This is a particularly important statistic to consider, as Wisconsin has a reputation for severe alcohol abuse. Approximately 1 in 4 Wisconsin adults report binge drinking on a regular basis. [7]

    The outlook for opioid abuse in Stevens Point and Portage County is far more positive. In 2021, Portage County recorded an average of 27.8 opioid emergency room visits per 100,000 residents, compared to Wisconsin’s average of 54.5. Similarly, the county recorded an average of 8.8 opioid inpatient hospitalizations per 100,000 residents, compared to 19.5 in all of Wisconsin. Most importantly, the rate of opioid deaths is far lower in Portage County than it is in Wisconsin: 14.1 per 100,000 Portage County residents versus 24.6 per 100,000 Wisconsin residents.

    While Stevens Point does account for the majority of substance abuse cases reported in Portage County, it would be unfair (and inaccurate) to attribute every single case to the city. 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 Stevens Point, Wisconsin:

    • Annual Overdoses: 186
    • Alcohol-Related Deaths: 9
    • Opioid-Related Deaths: 6
    • Non-Opioid Drug-Related Deaths: 1

    Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Efforts in Stevens Point

    Stevens Point has few government initiatives targeting drug and alcohol abuse, but the University of Wisconsin satellite campus in the city does offer helpful resources to students. Considering that many substance use disorders begin in college, thanks in part to the proliferation of college “party culture,” it is encouraging the that University of Wisconsin offers students informational guides on alcohol consumption and even easy access to appointments pertaining to substance abuse.

    Stevens Point residents who are not students of the university have to rely on county and state-level resources. The Portage County Partnership for Prevention offers regular meetings and resources to help those struggling with substance abuse. The county also offers a web portal with dozens of resources to direct people toward treatment centers and group counseling in the area.

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

    Drug and Alcohol Detox in Stevens Point, Wisconsin

    Stevens Point is a beautiful city that has been struggling to overcome economic hardship and substance abuse, particularly alcohol abuse, for many years. However, the lack of city-level programs has made it difficult for addicted residents to see a path forward. As a result, hundreds of individuals and families throughout the city continue to suffer in silence.

    Fortunately, there is help close by. Midwest Detox is a private detox clinic in Brookfield, just a 2-hour drive from Stevens Point. At Midwest Detox, we have the training and facilities to help you detoxify in comfort. Our staff also focuses on a long-term approach that teaches you the skills you need to continue your recovery once you leave our clinic.

    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.