Drug and Alcohol Detox Guide For Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
A suburb of Milwaukee, Wauwatosa is a fun and vibrant city in southern Wisconsin. A surprisingly popular place for tourists, Wauwatosa is home to various nature reserves, historical buildings, and even sports arenas. Local residents of Wauwatosa enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, full of shopping and entertainment, as well as a relatively low cost of living compared to Milwaukee. However, the local economy has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a rising unemployment rate and a poverty rate that is relatively high, though still below the state average.
As attractive as Wauwatosa is to visitors, it is not without its problems that lie just below the surface. More specifically, Wauwatosa is constantly struggling with rising instances of substance abuse. In fact, the city has been a hotbed of alcohol and drug abuse for decades, though both of these issues have only gotten worse in recent years. As a result, hundreds of families and individuals throughout Wauwatosa are suffering in silence.
But Wauwatosa does have the power to recover. When it comes to addiction, hope is never lost, and there are various resources available to help local residents get sober. If you or a loved one is currently in need of help, consider reaching out to the experts at Midwest Detox in nearby Brookfield. Remember that detox is often the first major step toward recovery, and vitally important if you want to safely manage the first days and weeks of sobriety.
In the meantime, it’s important to understand exactly how addiction affects your community. Continue reading to learn more about substance abuse in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, and the resources available to help you on your journey to a sober life.
The Ongoing Substance Abuse Crisis in Wauwatosa
One of the difficulties facing substance abuse in Wauwatosa is the lack of reliable data. While there is plenty of data available in Milwaukee County, the city of Wauwatosa does not release many specific figures related to overdoses, hospitalizations, or even deaths. Moreover, Wauwatosa makes up a very small part of the county as a whole. The city has a population of just over 48,000, compared to about 928,000 in Milwaukee County. Nonetheless, examining the data coming out of Milwaukee County can still give us a glimpse into the ongoing crisis impacting Wauwatosa.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Milwaukee County saw 607 deaths attributed to alcohol in 2022 alone. While the numbers were even worse during the height of the pandemic, this is still a substantial increase from many years past. For example, in 2014, Milwaukee County recorded 407 alcohol-related deaths. These numbers look even worse when accounting for the declining population throughout Milwaukee County. In spite of a population that’s getting smaller each year, the number of alcohol deaths continues to rise at an alarming rate. 
Milwaukee County is even worse off when it comes to opioids. The county recorded 326 deaths attributable to opioids in 2019 and 522 deaths in 2021. Though the statistics for 2022 and 2023 are still pending, all signs indicate that opioid deaths are increasing steadily. 
Aside from alcohol and opioids, Milwaukee County also sees dozens of annual deaths from stimulants like cocaine and crystal meth. Heroin is also a major problem, though synthetic opioids like fentanyl are fast replacing heroin as a top choice for opioid addicts in the region. It’s also important to note that mixing drugs has exacerbated the problem in Milwaukee County. More than half of the substance abuse deaths recorded in Milwaukee County since 2020 involved more than one substance. 
But again, these numbers do not specifically target Wauwatosa. These are figures for all of Milwaukee County, and Wauwatosa only accounts for about 5% of the county’s population. Nonetheless, the city of Wauwatosa contributes more than its fair share of substance abuse cases to the county. In fact, some estimates indicate that roughly 8% of all substance abuse hospitalizations and overdoses recorded in Milwaukee County originated in Wauwatosa.
How Wauwatosa Compares to the Rest of Wisconsin
Sadly, it’s difficult to ignore that Wauwatosa is one of the worst cities in Wisconsin for substance abuse. Considering that Wisconsin is already one of the worst states in the nation for alcohol abuse, Wauwatosa might even be one of the worst cities in the nation for binge drinking. On average, about 25% of the adult population in Wisconsin engages in binge drinking on a regular basis.  In 2021, Wisconsin recorded an average alcohol death rate of 55 per 100,000 residents, compared to 72.3 in Milwaukee County. And while this number is extremely high, Milwaukee County is just the 10th worst county in the state for alcohol-attributable deaths.
When factoring in the number of hospitalizations related to alcohol abuse, the situation becomes even more grim. In 2021, Milwaukee County recorded 8,146 emergency room visits and 7,597 inpatient hospital visits as a result of alcohol abuse, making it the worst county in the state for these statistics. 
As you might have imagined, the opioid statistics are even worse. In 2021, Wisconsin recorded an average of 24.6 opioid deaths per 100,000 residents, compared to 54.9 in Milwaukee County. This means that, on average, someone is nearly twice as likely to die in Milwaukee County of an opioid overdose than anywhere else in the state. Similarly, the number of opioid hospitalizations is far higher in Milwaukee County, with the state recording an annual average of 53.7 emergency room visits per 100,00 residents, compared to 77 in Milwaukee County. 
Since much of this data relates to all of Milwaukee County, it’s important to understand exactly how substance abuse looks in the city of Wauwatosa. So, here are some of the most recent findings related to overdoses and deaths in Mequon, Wisconsin:
- Annual Overdoses: 174
- Alcohol-Related Deaths: 51
- Opioid-Related Deaths: 39
- Non-Opioid Drug-Related Deaths: 5
Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Efforts in Wauwatosa
Unlike some mid-sized cities throughout Wisconsin, Wauwatosa does not only rely on state and county programs to combat substance abuse. The city has various active initiatives to help fight addiction, including resources to fight substance abuse via the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). Wauwatosa also makes use of the HALO program to encourage harm reduction, plus free distribution programs for Narcan kits and fentanyl test strips.
At the county level, Milwaukee County also offers various programs and public treatment options to help those in need. Many of these programs are managed through the Milwaukee Health Department, which also provides resources to help teach people how to save a loved one in the event of an overdose.
As a complement to these county programs, Wisconsin runs the State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (SCAODA), which manages dozens of programs and initiatives across the state. Additionally, many Wauwatosa residents seek out help from quality inpatient rehab clinics like Wellbrook Recovery, as well as nearby detox clinics like Midwest Detox.
Drug and Alcohol Detox in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
Wauwatosa is a truly great place to live, but addiction and substance abuse are quickly chipping away at the city’s image and well-being. More importantly, addiction is taking dozens of innocent lives in the city every year. While various public resources are helping to prevent deaths and lead people toward treatment, the statistics show that these programs are simply not enough.
Fortunately, if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction in Wauwatosa, detox is a great first step, and you can get professional help from Midwest Detox. At Midwest Detox, we work tirelessly to reduce your withdrawal symptoms and help you get over the first difficult days and weeks of your recovery. We also provide counseling and work with you to develop a long-term plan for recovery.
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.