Graduation commences for opioid drug program in Appleton

Appleton, Wis. (WFRV) - It's being called an epidemic, the opioid crisis in the United States.  Here in Wisconsin a new program is making an effort to help get drug offenders back on their feet. It's called the Doc Opioid Pilot program, and the second round of participants in this program are getting the treatment they need.

17 new participants are now drug free and on the path to success. The program came to life when $1.6 million dollars was set aside in the Wisconsin State budget to combat the opioid crisis.

The program provides willing drug offenders with monthly injections of vivitrol for a years time.  The goal is to reduce the number of drug offenders in Wisconsin while creating striving members of society. 

"The vivitrol shots themselves are basically to allow them to overcome their dependency at the time as they go through the program," said Secretary Jon Litscher of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.

On Tuesday, 17 people join the group of 24 that successfully completed this program.  Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch spoke to the graduates and their families.

"For the employers who do choose to hire one of these graduates, they're often rewarded with some of the most dedicated employees," said Kleefisch.

She says there is another round of funding in the upcoming state budget to continue the program into 2019.


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