Alderman Michael J. Murphy’s budget amendment passed the Common Council on November 10, securing $50,000 for an opioid addiction awareness campaign to address the public health crisis in the community.
Research has shown there are three ways to address the opioid addiction crisis: law enforcement, treatment, and prevention. Ald. Murphy’s recent budget amendment will focus on addiction prevention. In the coming year, he will also work alongside community partners to leverage more funding for a larger media campaign to create greater awareness around the issue.
The number of deaths related to opioid overdoses keeps climbing. In Milwaukee County for 2017, more people have died from opioid overdoses than homicides and fatal car accidents combined. It is also important to recognize the staggering and lifesaving work by the Milwaukee Fire Department, as they have responded to 2,909 overdoses to provide lifesaving Narcan. Milwaukee residents comprised 2,549 of the lives saved.
Ald. Murphy has been outspoken and active in addressing opioid addiction and overdose deaths. As the former Common Council President, he authored a detailed report in ‘888 Bodies and Counting,’ in 2015 to sound the alarm regarding the scope and impact of this crisis. In January 2017, Alderman Murphy created the Milwaukee City-County Heroin, Opioid, and Cocaine Task Force to bring together city, county, and non-profit resources to address the deadly public health crisis plaguing the region.
As the opioid addiction media awareness campaign moves forward, more information will become available. The alderman looks forward to working with community partners to address the issue.