Drug and Alcohol Detox Guide For Waukesha, Wisconsin
Waukesha is a picturesque city located on the western outskirts of the greater Milwaukee Metropolitan Area. The county seat of Waukesha County, Waukesha is known for its beautiful hiking trails, historical architecture, and even the healing waters of its natural springs (though they have seen better days). However, the city of Waukesha is not without its problems. While crime is not a major issue in Waukesha (it is largely on par with the national average), substance abuse is on the rise.
With a population of just over 71,000 people, Waukesha is a mid-sized city that has grown steadily over the past two decades. And though household income has gradually improved and the economic outlook of the city is getting better, many residents have succumbed to alcohol or drug abuse in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with opioid addiction being one of the biggest contributors to the ongoing crisis.
Thankfully, help is just a phone call away for all Waukesha residents who are currently fighting addiction. In addition to local resources provided by the Waukesha County government, you can get direct help from professional clinics like Midwest Detox. At Midwest Detox, you can cleanse your body of addictive substances and begin the path toward recovery in peace and comfort.
But just because help is nearby doesn’t mean you should ignore the problem in Waukesha. Every day, more and more people become addicted to drugs and alcohol in Waukesha, and without sweeping changes, this trend will only get worse in Waukesha County and the rest of Wisconsin. Continue reading to learn more about the effects of drug and alcohol abuse in Waukesha, as well as the role that detox can play in helping Waukesha residents recover for good.
The Ongoing Substance Abuse Crisis in Waukesha
Waukesha is the largest city in Waukesha County by far. However, there are dozens of small and mid-sized cities throughout the county. As a result, Waukesha only accounts for roughly 17% of the county’s 408,000+ population. This percentage will likely decrease going forward, as growth in the city of Waukesha has slowed to about 2% per year, while annual growth across the entire county currently rests at more than 4%. This information matters because, like many small and mid-sized cities throughout Wisconsin, a great deal of Waukesha’s substance abuse data is calculated at the county level.
According to data provided by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, alcohol is not one of the primary causes of addiction-related death in Waukesha. There were just 165 alcohol-related deaths in Waukesha County in 2021, a sharp decline from the 191 and 192 deaths recorded in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Of the 548 alcohol-related deaths that occurred in Waukesha County between 2019 and 2021, it is estimated that 122 originated in the city of Waukesha. 
While the number of alcohol-related deaths has remained relatively constant in relation to the growing population, there has been a much more shocking increase in the number of opioid-related deaths. Between 2014 and 2019, Waukesha County saw an average of 50 opioid-related deaths per year, with a peak of 68 in 2017. However, as the stress of the Coronavirus pandemic took hold, the number of deaths increased dramatically to 83 in 2019 and 99 in 2021. And though the effects of the pandemic have largely subsided, citizens of Waukesha have struggled to overcome the opioid addictions that formed and worsened in 2020. Of the 182 opioid-related deaths that occurred in Waukesha County between 2020 and 2021, it is estimated that an alarming 86 originated in the city of Waukesha alone. 
How Waukesha Compares to the Rest of Wisconsin
Sadly, Wisconsin is known for substance abuse, particularly when it comes to alcohol. In fact, Wisconsin is the worst state in the country for binge drinking, with more than 1 in 4 Wisconsin adults engaging in binge drinking regularly.  Fortunately, this trend has not been as common in Waukesha County, which ranks 48th out of 72 counties in Wisconsin for alcohol-related deaths.
However, this statistic can be extremely deceiving. One would assume a city (and county) that records comparatively few acute and chronic alcohol-related deaths would also have few issues with alcohol abuse. In Waukesha, this is simply not the case. Waukesha County has a very robust healthcare system, with most patients served by the Prohealth Waukesha Memorial Hospital and other public and private clinics in nearby Milwaukee. In 2021 alone, Waukesha County recorded 1,387 emergency room visits as a direct result of alcohol (4th most in the state) and 2,041 chronic alcohol inpatient visits (3rd most in the state). This indicates that, while Waukesha County does an excellent job of reducing the number of alcohol-related deaths and overdoses, it has not escaped the grip of alcohol addiction. 
When it comes to opioids, Waukesha is slightly worse off than the rest of the state. On average, Wisconsin records 24.6 opioid-related deaths per 100,000 residents, while Waukesha records 24.7. White men between the ages of 18 and 44 are the highest-risk demographic in the region. But even with these alarming figures, it’s important to understand that there are cities and counties throughout Wisconsin that are much worse off when it comes to the opioid epidemic. For example, nearby Milwaukee County records 54.9 opioid-related deaths per 100,000 residents — more than double the rate recorded in Waukesha County.
It’s also important to remember that substance abuse is not just limited to alcohol and opioids. Cocaine and meth account for dozens of deaths in Waukesha County each year. Multi-drug overdoses are also common statewide, but it can be difficult to navigate the complexities of the data related to deaths involving more than one substance. For example, some hospitalizations or deaths that were primarily caused by one substance may only record that substance as the underlying cause, even if some other substances were detected. As a result, the real toll that drugs and alcohol are taking on the city of Waukesha is difficult to fully comprehend. 
Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Efforts in Waukesha
The Waukesha County Department of Health & Human Services offers various free and low-cost services to residents struggling with substance abuse. Waukesha County even operates a clinic for walk-in patients in need of immediate help. The clinic is only open during select hours (Monday through Friday), and operates on a first come, first serve basis. As a result, it is not always easy to get immediate assistance, particularly if you’re dealing with the symptoms of withdrawal.
At the city level, Waukesha has various programs and departments for combatting substance abuse and the illegal drug trade. The Crisis Response Unit (CRU) works with at-risk residents to help reduce overdoses and encourage voluntary treatment. Waukesha also offers a free drug disposal program to safely dispose of unwanted drugs. This program is completely anonymous, and unlike many cities in Wisconsin, Waukesha allows for the disposal of both prescription and non-prescription drugs.
Waukesha residents can also depend on various state-level programs that aim to reduce the number of drug and alcohol-related deaths and help educate people on the dangers of substance abuse. The primary organization under which these initiatives operate is the State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (SCAODA).
While these programs do a lot of great work to reduce the number of overdoses and deaths in Waukesha and the rest of Wisconsin, they don’t always make it easy for individuals to get sober and stay sober. As a result, many residents of Waukesha turn to private detox facilities like Midwest Detox or inpatient recovery facilities like Wellbrook Recovery for more comprehensive care.
Drug and Alcohol Detox in Waukesha, Wisconsin
Waukesha may have the resources to help people cling to life during an overdose, but the city has had difficulty reducing the total number of people abusing drugs and alcohol. If you or a loved one currently need to detox from drugs or alcohol, consider reaching out to our experts at Midwest Detox. We provide a safe, private, and comfortable inpatient facility to help you start your journey to recovery the right way.
At Midwest Detox, we have the expertise to help reduce withdrawal symptoms and keep you as comfortable as possible while you cleanse your body of addictive substances. Our staff is available 24/7 to address your needs and help you develop the skills you need to continue treatment and, with time, overcome your addiction.
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.