Wisconsin Weekly: While WI spends millions to fight opioid addiction, meth use quietly rises

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Methamphetamine cases up; new rules seek to cut drinking water lead; WI gets few federal funds; 1 in 4 UW-Madison women report sexual assault


Of note: This week we highlight our latest story, which reveals that while Wisconsin has waged war against opioid abuse, pouring tens of millions of dollars into treatment and prevention, another crisis has emerged: Methamphetamines. Reporter Parker Schorr found meth cases are up a whopping 450 percent at the state crime lab compared to 10 years earlier — far outstripping heroin cases. And options for treatment of meth addiction are limited, as many existing funds are confined to battling abuse of heroin and other opioids. Schorr is a public affairs reporting fellow for the Cap Times newspaper in Madison who is embedded in the Wisconsin Watch newsroom.

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Parker Schorr / Wisconsin Watch

Jess Przybylski started using methamphetamine after the father of her children died in a car crash. Over a five-year period she lost custody of her two children twice, plus her job, cars and relationships. After completing intensive treatment in 2016 as a condition of her sentence, she got her children back. She is now an advocate for meth recovery and a member of the Take a Stand Against Meth Campaign, a community initiative in Chippewa County, Wis. Przybylski is pictured outside of her home in Chippewa Falls with her children Zander, left, and Peyton. Photo taken Sept. 25, 2019.

While millions are spent to fight the opioid epidemic, a meth crisis quietly grows in Wisconsin

The Cap Times / Wisconsin Watch — October 15, 2019

Jess Przybylski had never really dealt with loss. Then the father of her children was killed in a car crash. In 2011, her friends offered her methamphetamine to distract from the grief. Soon after, Przybylski lost her job. Her two children were taken from her once, then once more when she was caught faking a drug test. A growing rap sheet eclipsed her college degree as she lost cars, relationships — and nearly her life.

Wisconsin ranks among bottom of states in securing federal funds

Wisconsin State Journal — October 14, 2019

The share of federal dollars Wisconsin uses to balance its budget has declined in recent years and once again ranks among the lowest in the nation, driven in part by Republican opposition to Medicaid expansion. According to new research from The Pew Charitable Trusts, 26.3% of the state’s budget came from federal dollars, ranking Wisconsin 45th among the states in its ability to harness dollars from Uncle Sam.

Michelle Stocker / The Cap Times

One in four undergraduate women at the University of Wisconsin-Madison report experiencing sexual assault on campus, according to a new report with the Association of American Universities.

Survey: One in four UW-Madison women students have been sexually assaulted

The Cap Times — October 15, 2019

Four years after the Association of American Universities’ inaugural sexual assault and misconduct survey, a new report released Tuesday shows that, while students report greater levels of awareness, one in four undergraduate women at the University of Wisconsin-Madison reported they have been sexually assaulted in their time on campus.Chancellor Rebecca Blank wrote in the report that improvements shown in the results are encouraging, but that sexual assault numbers at UW-Madison remain “distressingly high.” Previously from Wisconsin Watch and Madison Magazine: Facing the truth behind the statistics of sexual assault

In Green Bay, EPA administrator unveils new rules to curb lead in U.S. water systems

Green Bay Press Gazette — October 10, 2019

Local water systems nationwide would be required to maintain an inventory of lead service lines and test water in schools under a proposed initiative announced by federal officials. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler unveiled the new rules in Green Bay, calling it the first major overhaul of the national Lead and Copper Rule since 1991.  Wheeler said the proposal would improve transparency, better protect at-risk communities and ensure water systems act sooner to curb lead levels. Previously from Wisconsin Watch: Lead pipes, antiquated law threaten Wisconsin’s drinking water quality

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