Representative Nygren Introduces Legislation Package
to Combat Heroin Abuse in Wisconsin
Today, Representative John Nygren (R- Marinette) introduced legislation that will help combat heroin abuse and its tragic effects on WI families.
“Citizens all over Wisconsin are alarmed by the rising use of heroin that has struck their communities,” said Rep. Nygren. “They are concerned with the crime and hardship that comes with this powerful drug and realize there is a need for action.”
For many prescription opioid users, the shift to illegal and highly addictive heroin use is quick and of growing concern to this state. Heroin is much cheaper and more readily available when prescription supplies run out.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a sample of Wisconsin data shows that over 160,000 Wisconsin adults report using heroin or another opiate this past year. As reported by the Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation, the city and county of Marinette has had a significant heroin problem for the past 5 years. Countless business owners around Wisconsin are frustrated because they are unable to find employees to fill positions because of failed drug tests.
In recent years, it is estimated the total cost of illegal drug use totals more than $193 billion in the United States. The direct and indirect costs attributed to illegal drug use are estimated in four areas: crime, health, medical care, and productivity. Wisconsin’s share of this cost is estimated to be at least $2 billion, based on admissions to drug abuse treatment.
“Today, I will be introducing four bills that deal with the heroin problem in Wisconsin. Representatives Scott Krug (R- Nekoosa), Kathy Bernier (R- Chippewa Falls), Warren Petryk (R-Eleva), and Lee Nerison (R- Westby) will be co-authoring this legislation with me. Their communities, much like mine, have felt the effects of heroin and opiate abuse. It is a burden on local law enforcement and our court system, and has implications for our economy. Together, the Attorney General, Legislature, Governor and affected state agencies will battle this latest drug epidemic,” said Nygren, “and we will win.”