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State gearing up for anti-Heroin campaignSubmitted: 07/26/2013
Story By Kailey Burton


MINOCQUA - Across the state, police say one drug is their biggest challenge- Heroin.

This year, the Department of Justice will target the drug statewide. The Lakeland area is working on its own campaign.

In Minocqua, the Lakeland Prescription Drug Task Force made it harder to sell and abuse prescription drugs. The problem is, those people who used those drugs are still ADDICTED, and heroin is usually the easiest fix to find. Drug prevention specialist Bob Kovar says we need to prevent addiction in the first place.

"Somebody that's addicted to opiates needs to fulfill that addiction however they can... Typically we're pretty reactive. We kinda don't throw resources at people until we have to. So we end up spending a lot of money on prisons and then our justice system," said Kovar.

The state's campaign will officially start later this summer or early fall. The focus IS on prevention and awareness, but leaders hope it will go further.

"It can't just be an awareness campaign. I think there has to be a real push towards policy change... Healthcare, law enforcement, justice, our schools, we all need to be working together. I think when we work together and we implement programs that are proven to work, yes we can make a difference," says Kovar.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

WAUSAU - During a national push to prescribe fewer painkillers, a new Wisconsin proposal appeared that it would let chiropractors prescribe prescription drugsâ€"including painkillers.

After speaking with one of the bill's authors, that notion is not at all true. 

John Murray, the executive director of the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association, which supports the bill, said it was never the bill's intention to include narcotics, or any drugs not related to neuro-muscular skeletal healing. The bill is in its early stages, having had a co-sponsor hearing on Tuesday, and future drafts of the bill will not have that broad language. 

"It is the position of the WCA that going forward that was never the intention and that's not the intention going forward to have opioids and highly addictive schedules to be part of this," Murray said. 

What the bill is meant for, he said, is to allow chiropractorsâ€"with 60 credit hours of additional education and hours of clinical trainingâ€"to be able to prescribe non-narcotic pain medication, such as muscle relaxants or steroids. This they could do instead of referring their patients out to a medical doctor for such prescriptions, as all chiropractors do now. He said this would make it more convenient for the patient and better that they see the same doctor for a medication instead of two. 

"It's not that we think referring out to other providers is a bad thing," Murray said. "But there are situations in which a patient comes in and has something that a chiropractor with proper training could treat in the short term with some pharmaceutical intervention."

Not all chiropractors agree with this bill despite its clarifications. 

Dr. Scott Bautch, D.C., of Bautch Chiropractic in Wausau, wants to stay true to being "the non-drug option" to health care. 

He would rather continue referring his patients out to medical doctors.  He presented on behalf of the Chiropractic Society of Wisconsin, which does not support the bill, at the bill's hearing in Madison on Tuesday. 

"I'm going to counsel people on what they eat, I'm going to counsel people on how they move, I'm going to counsel people on what they think," Bautch said. "But if we need to have help with something your body can't heal, I'll refer you out. In my 33 years plus of practice, I've not had a problem. And if I've had to send a patient out because the pain was so unretractable, it's not been a difficult situation at all. If I call them that day, I've had patients that we call, and they get them in in an hour."

Murray says it's up to each chiropractor in the state to decide how they want to practice.

"We have great respect for chiropractors who want to work that way," Murray said. "But there are chiropractors in the state who want to have those extra clinical tools and practice that way. It's about freedom of practice."

The bill still has a few legislative steps before, and if, it becomes law.


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EAGLE RIVER - A ranch in Eagle River will be giving back this summer while serving delicious food.

Kula Ranch is partnering with different charities, raising money through farm-to-table breakfasts.

Each Sunday morning breakfast will support a different charity. The meals will either be homemade with food from the farm or locally sourced.

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MADISON - Wisconsin voters will likely need to show an ID during the August primary.

A federal judge is hearing challenges to Wisconsin's voter identification law.

U.S. District Judge James Peterson says the rules for the August primary election will be the same as they were for the April presidential primary.

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HILES - Community members got together to celebrate some students' hard work Thursday afternoon. Students from Crandon High School built a visitors' kiosk in Hiles.

There was a ribbon cutting Thursday to announce that the kiosk is officially open. About 15 students built the kiosk.

It features community events, trail maps, and more for everyone to use.

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EAGLE RIVER - Inside a Northland Pines fitness room, the laughter comes a little easier than the exercises.

"By God, we have a good time," Denise Simon said with a laugh.

Twice weekly, more than a dozen women sweat, strain, and snicker their way through the Strong Women fitness program at the high school.  It's a lively atmosphere that Denise Simon says keeps her coming back.

"This is just as important physically and socially equally," Simon said.  "And then to be dropped into this group of women, there's where the gift is."

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PRENTICE/OGEMA - Prentice High School senior Aubrey Edinger likes making art with all different kinds of materials. She makes pottery, oil paintings, acrylic paintings, and drawings, among other works.

But it was a sculpture with polymer clay that earned her all-conference recognition in a recent Northwoods art show. Her "Fight Scene" piece was selected as one of the best in the Marawood Conference.

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AMHERST - The small town of Amherst recently broke ground on a project to replace its aging dam.

The dam was built on the Tomorrow River decades ago to power the local feed mill.

But now the Wisconsin DNR believes the structure does not meet it's 500-year flood criteria, so it gave the town a choice.

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