Drug and Alcohol Detox Guide For Whitewater, Wisconsin

Whitewater, Wisconsin is a small city located where Whitewater Creek and Spring Brook converge, and is named after the clean, white sand found nearby. The city is split by the border between Walworth County and Jefferson County, and is just an hour’s drive from Downtown Milwaukee. Known for its beautiful water and dense forests, Whitewater is a calm and relaxing city with a lot of personality. In addition to its many parks and attractions, the city hosts various cultural events throughout the year.

Though Whitewater has seen some growth over the past few decades, the population has remained relatively constant at around 15,638. Sadly, the economic situation in the city of Whitewater has worsened in recent years, partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of the latest data, the median household income in Whitewater is $46,135, and the per capita income is just $21,663. When compared to the median household income and per capita income in Wisconsin — $72,458 and $40,130, respectively — Whitewater falls far short of the state average. To make matters worse, the poverty rate in Whitewater is shockingly high; nearly 1 in every 3 residents live below the poverty line in Whitewater, compared to 1 in 10 residents in all of Wisconsin. [1]

The tough economic situation in Whitewater has only exacerbated the ongoing substance abuse crisis in the city and the rest of Walworth and Jefferson Counties. Fortunately, with clinics like Midwest Detox in nearby Brookfield, Whitewater 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 Whitewater, 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 Whitewater, and the resources available to help residents fight addiction.

In This Article
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    The Ongoing Substance Abuse Crisis in Whitewater

    In addition to worsening the substance abuse crisis, the economic situation in Whitewater has made it more difficult for the city to manage substance abuse data on its own. Fortunately, like most cities in the state, Whitewater can rely on county administrators to keep track of substance abuse hospitalizations and deaths. However, this means that the cases recorded in Whitewater are lumped together with cases recorded in other parts of Walworth and Jefferson Counties. Since the city is split between these two counties, it also makes the task of evaluating the available data even more complicated. Nonetheless, examining the substance abuse cases in Walworth and Jefferson Counties can help shine a light on the addiction epidemic in Whitewater and the surrounding area.

    According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, both Walworth County and Jefferson County have seen significant increases in alcohol-related hospitalizations, as well as a smaller increase in overdose deaths involving alcohol over the past decade. [2] [3] You can see a full breakdown of these statistics in the tables below:

    Alcohol Statistics in Walworth County
    Year Emergency Room Visits Inpatient Hospitalizations Deaths
    2014 577 437 22
    2015 640 500 21
    2016 682 554 32
    2017 707 509 30
    2018 641 576 30
    2019 658 574 31
    2020 684 556 32
    2021 697 581 30
    2022 N/A N/A 26
    *2023 N/A N/A 11

    *Statistics for 2023 are still preliminary.

    Alcohol Statistics in Jefferson County
    Year Emergency Room Visits Inpatient Hospitalizations Deaths
    2014 386 306 15
    2015 397 269 17
    2016 421 336 18
    2017 459 331 28
    2018 397 329 20
    2019 422 400 17
    2020 422 438 22
    2021 491 437 26
    2022 N/A N/A 21
    *2023 N/A N/A 18

    *Statistics for 2023 are still preliminary.

    As you can see from the tables above, Walworth and Jefferson Counties have seen similar trends involving alcohol abuse. Between 2014 and 2021, the annual number of alcohol-attributable emergency room cases increased by 20.7% in Walworth County and 27.2% in Jefferson County. Alcohol-attributable inpatient hospitalizations increased by 32.9% in Walworth County and 42.8% in Jefferson County over the same period. While the hospitalization data for 2022 and 2023 is not yet available for either county, there is preliminary data pertaining to alcohol-attributable deaths.

    Between 2014 and 2022, Walworth County saw an 18.1% increase in alcohol-attributable deaths, while Jefferson County saw an increase of 40%. The data for 2023 is still preliminary, but between January and June of 2023, Walworth County recorded 11 alcohol deaths and Jefferson County recorded 18 alcohol deaths. It’s important to note that, while Walworth County has recorded more total hospitalizations and deaths since 2014, these statistics are rising at a much faster rate in Jefferson County. In fact, Jefferson County’s alcohol deaths in 2023 are poised to double the number of deaths recorded in 2022.

    Opioids are also heavily abused in the region, though there’s greater variance in the data between Walworth and Jefferson Counties. [4] [5] You can see the annual figures for opioid abuse in Walworth and Jefferson Counties in the tables below:

    Opioid Statistics in Walworth County
    Year Emergency Room Visits Inpatient Hospitalizations Deaths
    2014 15 14 14
    2015 25 23 12
    2016 37 27 15
    2017 57 17 13
    2018 45 20 17
    2019 32 14 21
    2020 29 13 21
    2021 53 15 21
    2022 34 14 N/A
    Opioid Statistics in Jefferson County
    Year Emergency Room Visits Inpatient Hospitalizations Deaths
    2014 11 13 11
    2015 24 17 7
    2016 29 18 9
    2017 39 21 18
    2018 37 17 10
    2019 41 12 15
    2020 41 17 15
    2021 48 10 12
    2022 40 13 14

    Unlike the trends in alcohol abuse, which are more clearly defined, opioid abuse statistics in Walworth and Jefferson Counties show few clear patterns. Between 2014 and 2022, Walworth County saw an increase in opioid-attributable emergency room visits of 126.6%, while Jefferson County saw an increase of 263.6%. Opioid-attributable inpatient hospitalizations saw no change in Walworth County or Jefferson County between 2014 and 2022, though these figures have risen and fallen at various times, peaking between 2016 and 2017.

    The vast majority of substance abuse cases in Walworth and Jefferson Counties involve alcohol or prescription opioids. However, other drugs also contribute to the growing number of substance abuse deaths in both counties. For example, Walworth County sees an average of 4.7 annual heroin deaths per 100,000 residents, compared to 5.2 in Jefferson County. Similarly, Walworth County records 3.5 annual cocaine deaths per 100,000 residents, compared to 3.6 in Jefferson County. Both counties see relatively few deaths involving crystal meth (1.9 annual deaths per 100,000 residents). [6]

    This is a lot of information to digest, but what does it mean for the city of Whitewater? Roughly 70% of the land area and population of Whitewater falls within Walworth County, with the remainder falling within Jefferson County. From the portion inside Walworth County, the population accounts for about 10% of the county population. Alternatively, the smaller population to the north only accounts for about 4.7% of Jefferson County. Based on local coroner’s reports, it is estimated that roughly 14% of the substance abuse cases in Walworth County and 6% of the substance abuse cases in Jefferson County are attributable to the city of Whitewater.

    How Whitewater Compares to the Rest of Wisconsin

    Whitewater is by no means a large city, but it does contribute a relatively large percentage of substance abuse cases to the region. Jefferson County is the 19th and 20th worst county in the state (out of 72 counties) for alcohol-attributable emergency room visits and inpatient hospitalizations, respectively. Walworth County ranks as the 12th and 16th worst county for the same statistics. This is concerning when you consider that Wisconsin is among the worst states in the nation for binge drinking. [7] However, both counties do a superior job of preventing alcohol-related deaths, as they rank as the 50th (Walworth) and 39th (Jefferson) worst counties for this statistic.

    Once again, the statistics for opioid abuse are a little more complex for both counties, making it more complicated to compare them to the rest of the state. On average, Walworth County and Jefferson County record 51.1 and 56.8 opioid-attributable emergency room visits per 100,000 residents, respectively, compared to 54.5 in all of Wisconsin. Additionally, Walworth and Jefferson Counties record an average of 14.5 and 11.8 opioid-attributable inpatient hospitalizations per 100,000 residents, respectively, while the average in Wisconsin is 19.5. Most importantly, Walworth and Jefferson County record averages of 20.3 and 14.2 opioid-attributable deaths per 100,000 residents, which are far below the state average of 24.6.

    To get a more accurate picture of substance abuse at the local level and see how it compares to the rest of the state, let’s look at some of the most recent findings related to overdoses and deaths in Whitewater, Wisconsin:

    • Annual Overdoses: 85
    • Alcohol-Related Deaths: 7
    • Opioid-Related Deaths: 3
    • Non-Opioid Drug-Related Deaths: 2

    Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Efforts in Whitewater

    The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater has various policies in place to educate students on the dangers of substance abuse and provide resources for those who are currently struggling with addiction. However, for residents who are not students of the local university, there are virtually no city programs to support recovery. Instead, the city of Whitewater relies on programs run in both Walworth and Jefferson Counties. Walworth County has multiple programs aimed at helping parents identify signs of substance abuse in their teenage children. Jefferson County offers a greater variety of programs and initiatives, including links to treatment programs, education courses, and a comprehensive Community Support Program (CSP).

    As a complement to these programs, Wisconsin runs the State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (SCAODA), which manages dozens of programs and initiatives across the state. Whitewater 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 Whitewater, Wisconsin

    Whitewater is a beautiful little city that has tons of appeal for nature lovers and people who want a more relaxed lifestyle, away from the big city. At the same time, Whitewater is still close enough to Milwaukee to enjoy all the benefits of city living. Sadly, a combination of factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic downturn, have made substance abuse one of the biggest problems for the small city of Whitewater. Though the city has two counties that it can rely on for support, many residents are forced to look elsewhere to start the recovery process.

    Thankfully, there is help close by. Midwest Detox is a private detox clinic in Brookfield (less than an hour’s drive from Whitewater) 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.