Drug & Alcohol Coalition to address rise of herion and opiate use

Posted at 8:41 AM, Apr 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-17 09:41:22-04

The Winnebago County Drug & Alcohol Coalition will hold its kick off event Monday, April 17th.

Their goal is to prevent and reduce drug and alcohol use throughout the county and bringing awareness to prevention, treatment and recovery.

The event aims at giving community members information about how to address the rise of heroin and opiate use throughout the county and state.

The Coalition, formerly known as the Heroin Task Force, will hold its awareness event at 4:30 p.m. (program begins at 5 p.m.) at LaSure's Banquet Hall, 3125 S. Washburn St., Oshkosh.

In 2016, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services estimated 6,700 regular heroin users living in Wisconsin with the death toll for heroin users rising for nearly a decade.

"Heroin is a silent problem-one you can't always see," said UW Oshkosh Police Chief Kurt Leibold, who serves on the Coalition and leads the communications action team. "These issues are everybody's problem."

Leibold, like all who are involved with the Coalition's efforts, hopes to help raise awareness of the problems and work as a community to find and present solutions.

The Coalition is made up of law enforcement officials, community leaders, health care professionals and other concerned citizens and has a mission of "empowering our community to effect individual and social change through education, advocacy, collaboration and the coordination of resources."

"this problem is not going to go away on its own," said Oshkosh Police Department Chief Dean Smith. "As a community, we need to take steps to address both the supply and the demand for heroin in the Fox Valley. The loss of one life due to heroin overdose is too many."

To learn more, check out their website at