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Wisconsin Drug Addiction


Street drugs have become a problem not only in urban areas, but in suburbs and rural communities, as well. Drugs such as heroin, cocaine and crystal meth can destroy individuals’ lives and cause untold damage to families and the society. A number of treatment facilities are available for Wisconsin drug addiction to help these individuals rebuild their health, their careers and their family relationships.


What Are Street Drugs?

Street drugs are drugs that are illegal. They are produced in secret labs and sold on the street in cities and small communities across the country. These drugs produce pleasurable effects such as euphoria, energy and confidence. Because of these effects, they are widely abused, and many individuals become addicted to them. Street drugs produce changes in brain chemistry that cause these individuals to continually seek out drug use. The need to constantly acquire the drug causes users to engage in illegal activities, such as theft, check writing, prostitution and other actions to secure money to pay for the constant supply of drugs.


Statistics on Wisconsin Drug Addiction

Milwaukee Country health officials note that heroin death rose 39 percent between 2012 and 2013. In 2015, deaths from heroin rose 72 percent from the previous year. In western Wisconsin, after years of decline, crystal meth use is rising fast, tripling the crime lab cases seen in 2008. About 80 percent of the drug court cases involving crystal meth are women with children. The need for treatment is critical in many areas of the state to undo the damage done by Wisconsin drug addiction.



Heroin is a white to brownish powder that is a derivative of morphine, which is made from the dried flowers of the poppy plant. Opium compounds derived from poppy have been in use for hundreds of years to block pain and produce a sense of euphoria. Heroin is a form that can be cheaply produced and sold on the street through drug distribution networks that exist around the country. The drug can be snorted or smoked, but it is most often injected into the body to produce the most intense effect. The federal government has designated heroin as a Schedule I drug because of its high risk for addiction. Individuals who are addicted to heroin appear drowsy and unfocused. They often have track marks on their arms or other parts of the body from needle marks. They may appear disheveled and unhealthy. They may have poor coordination and isolate themselves from normal activities in order to focus on acquiring and using the drug. Their breathing may be slowed, and they may have frequent medical problems.



Cocaine is derivative of the leaves of the coca plant. The extract is made into a fine powder that is snorted or injected into the body. Crack cocaine comes in a rock crystal form that is smoked. Cocaine produces effects of talkativeness, energy and euphoria. Cocaine is a Schedule II drug with moderate potential for abuse. Individuals addicted to cocaine appear hyperactive, overconfident, may have runny noses or nosebleeds, have little appetite and sleep very little.


Crystal Meth

Crystal meth is a crystalline form of methamphetamine that is produced in underground labs across the country from commonly found chemicals. The drug can be snorted, smoked or injected to produce feelings of euphoria, confidence and happiness. Crystal meth is a Schedule II substance with moderate risk for addiction. Many individuals become addicted to crystal meth and begin to show skin sores, weight loss, tooth loss, hyperactivity, mood instability, delusions and psychosis.


Health Risks of Heroin Addiction

Heroin addiction can cause a variety of health problems. Individuals may have vein problems from injection of the drug or may develop blood-borne infections due to unsanitary needle use. The increasing tolerance puts the individual at constant risk for overdose. Heroin is a central nervous system depressor, which can slow breathing and cause death. Risky behavior while under the influence of the drug puts individuals at risk for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV infection.


Health Risks of Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is a stimulant drug that increases heart rate and blood pressure, which can lead to heart attack and stroke. Snorting cocaine can lead to sinus problems and damage to nasal tissues. Lung damage can also occur. With long-term use, individuals can develop liver or kidney disease. Mood problems and psychosis often occur. Injection of the drug lead to overdose and death. Sexually transmitted diseases and HIV infection can result from risky behavior while under the influence.


Health Risks of Crystal Meth Addiction

Addiction to crystal meth causes skin infections, tooth loss, depression, vision impairment, mood disorders, reproductive problems, heart diseases and the risk of sexually transmitted diseases. Sleep disturbances and mental health issues can last for years after treatment.


Treatment for Wisconsin Drug Addiction

  • Heroin treatment – Treatment begins with detox, which can cause severe reactions, including muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, depression and seizure. Inpatient facilities often provided medical support to reduce the severity of symptoms and cravings. Therapy include individual and group counseling to understand the reasons for substance use and cognitive behavioral training to develop positive actions to deal with emotions and stress. Long-term use of medications is becoming a standard treatment method to help individuals maintain abstinence from heroin.
  • Cocaine treatment – Cocaine treatment includes detoxification of the drug from the body, and therapy to help patients understand the motivations underlying their substance use. Contingency management techniques and motivational incentives that provide rewards for successful actions can often help these patients to maintain abstinence. Some success has also been achieved with use of gamma-aminobutyric acid to help restore normal brain chemistry.
  • Crystal meth treatment – Patients must detox from the drug and attend therapy sessions, on both individual and group levels, to understand the reasons for their substance use. Detox can be uncomfortable and may require medical management to reduce symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps patients recognize negative thought patterns and apply positive actions to help them maintain their recovery. Contingency management provides positive reinforcements for remaining abstinent from meth. Attendance at 12-step support group meetings provides social interaction and practical advice on maintaining abstinence.

You should never try and fight addiction on your own. Contact an addiction specialist today to discuss treatment for the illness and how it can permanently improve your life.