Drug Poisoning Educating The Community The trend is alarming: poisoning is now Dane County's number one cause of injury death – surpassing motor vehicle crashes – and drug poisoning is the cause in 85% of cases. SUICIDE PREVENTION FALLS PREVENTION TRAFFIC SAFETY DRUG POISONING

Prevent Drug Poisoning

We all play a part in drug poisoning prevention.

Drug overdose is a leading cause of injury-related death. A large percentage of drug overdose deaths are from prescription pain pills, also called prescription opioids. In Dane County, 354 people died from unintentional pain pill overdose from 2010 to 2018 1 .

In 2019, there were over 225,000 prescriptions for pain pills filled in Dane County 2 .

If prescription pain pills and other medications are not safely used, stored, and disposed of they can cause problems for you or a loved one.

Safe Use, Storage and Disposal of Prescription Pain Pills and Other Medications

•  Talk with your health care provider so you understand the benefits and risks of prescription pain pills before you take them.
•  Ask about other options for treating pain.
•  Ask whether there are medications other than opioids that treat pain, and ask about other ways to treat pain, like stretching or exercise.
•  Keep prescription medications out of reach and out of sight — avoid storage places others can easily access. Store your prescription pain pills and other medications in a safe place — lock them up!  For a free medication lock box, contact us at info@safercommunity.net
•  Dispose of expired, unused, or unwanted pain pills safely. For a list of MedDrop locations in Dane County, click here.

Do not:
•  Take pain pills in greater amounts or more often than prescribed.
•  Take pain pills with alcohol or other drugs.
•  Share your pain pills with anyone. About half of those who misuse prescription pain pills get them from friends or family.3
•  Take someone else’s pain pills, even if you’re doing so to ease pain.
•  Take pain pills to feel good or get high.​

To learn about the myths and realities of the safe use of prescription pain pills, click here.

SOURCES 1 Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Division of Public Health, Office of Health Informatics. WISH data query system, Drug Overdose Deaths Module (6/12/20) 2 Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, Wisconsin ePDMP (4/2/19) ³Lipari, R.N. and Hughes, A. How people obtain the prescription pain relievers they misuse. CBHSQ Report (1/12/17).

Recovery Coaching


The ED2Recovery project began as a pilot program in 2016 through a partnership with SSM/Dean St. Mary’s hospital. When a person presents in the emergency room as experiencing an overdose, a recovery coach is called and responds to the hospital.  The individual is then offered the opportunity to connect with the recovery coach prior to discharging the emergency room. All of our recovery coaches have the shared experience of waking up in the emergency room after an overdose. If the individual accepts a coach, the coach will typically sit with the person, provide support and recovery resources. After the person is discharged from the hospital, the recovery coach has daily contact with them until a confirmed treatment intake date is established. After the individual is connected with treatment, the coach remains in contact with the person for a few months until the person has a solid foundation of recovery. During the pilot phase of the project, Safe Communities was able to obtain a 90% success rate in connecting individuals to treatment and their beginning to a life in recovery.

Safe Communities has now partnered with Wisconsin Voices for Recovery to continue offering coaching services. Through this partnership Safe Communities is now able to work with any individual who comes to the Emergency Department and identifies they have opioid use disorder. Since the pilot program, Safe Communities recovery coaching has expanded to 3 more emergency departments within Dane County.


Launched in August 2017, Pregnancy2Recovery connects women who are pregnant and have opioid use disorder with a recovery coach. The expecting mothers may be utilizing medication-assisted treatment (MAT), taking illicit opioids or are being prescribed opioids to qualify for this program. Our recovery coaches work with expectant mothers on the coordination of care-connecting them with MAT, if needed, getting them into treatment, supporting them in access to resources and advocating for care and respect. Our coaches for this program have the shared experience of having had a child while in the grips of addiction. They know the struggles of the stigma, shame, guilt, and embarrassment. They have healed and are in long-term recovery, wanting to help other women find hope and path to recovery. Our program currently allows the coaches to work with women until three months post-partum. It is our goal, by three months post-partum, the mothers have established a foundation for recovery and support within our community.


Beginning May 2018, Safe Communities has partnered with Journey Mental Health to connect people coming out of incarceration with recovery coaches prior to their release. Currently, this is a county-funded pilot program. The program is designed for individuals who are incarcerated and have indicated they would like to be a part of the Journey Mental Health Vivitrol program. The coaches work closely with the individual prior to release and offer support as they connect with services at Journey Mental Health.  Our coaches will also work with the incarcerated person to find housing, employment, and recovery support if needed, with the goal of reduced recidivism.

Crisis Contacts

Emergency: 911


People expect the 911 system to work quickly and reliably, everywhere and with any device. The National 911 Program’s role is to help the 911 community provide optimal 911 services across the nation.

American Association of Poison Control Centers: (800) 222-1222


The American Association of Poison Control Centers supports the nation’s 55 poison centers in their efforts to prevent and treat poison exposures. Poison centers offer free, confidential medical advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Journey Mental Health Crisis Line: (608) 280-2600

National Suicide Prevention Line:
1-800-273-TALK (8255)
1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
For Veterans Press 1, En Español Oprima El 2

Safe Communities is not a counseling or crisis center and does not provide direct services. If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).




Drug Poisoning Information