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Substance Use and Injury Prevention

MHD has Narcan and Fentanyl Test Strips available for distribution! Please contact [email protected] if interested in learning more.


How to Use Narcan Video

Fentanyl Test Strips (FTS)

Substance Misuse: The World Health Organization (WHO) defines substance misuse as “...the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs.”

The most common types of substance use disorders in the U.S. include:

  • Marijuana
  • Opioids
  • Synthetic Cannabinoid Poisoning (K2)
  • Smoking
  • More Information

Medical Marijuana

More than half of U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana in some form, and more are considering bills to do the same. Click here to learn more. 

Opioid Fact Sheets

What Are Opioids?

What Are Opioids?

How to use NARCAN

How to use NARCAN

Opioid Overdose: How to Save A Life

Opioid Overdose: How to Save A Life

Opioid Risks

Opioid Risks

Opioids and Heroin 

Prescription opioid use is a risk factor for heroin use. Click here to learn more. 

For more information on heroin, visit: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/heroin

Milwaukee County Opioid-Related Overdose Report 

MCW COPE LogoThe Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), Community Opioid Prevention Effort (COPE) reports on the Milwaukee County opioid crisis, with data from 2012-2018. View the full report.


SE/WI Regional Heroin/Opiates Initiative 



Alderman Murphy has committed to raising heroin addiction awareness in the city, because one important way the downward spiral of addication can be stopped is by friends and family members understanding the signs of addiction and knowing how to intervene on behalf of loved ones.  To that end, multiple community events have already taken place, and more will be planned.

In partnership with the The Zilber Foundation, Milwaukee County, and the City of Milwaukee Health Department and Department of Administration, Alderman Michael Murhpy continues this initiative in response to the growing problem of heroin and opiate addication in the Milwaukee area. 

Preventing and treating heroin and opiate addiction, as well as helping addicts recover from it, is a great challenge.  We believe that working together, we can tackle substance abuse in the SE Wisconsin Region, including Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Racine, and Washington Counties. 

NEW: Read the multifaceted initial report of the City-County Heroin, Opioid and Cocaine Task Force

On behalf of the City-County Heroin, Opiooid, and Cocaine Task Force we present to you the initial work plan generated by the Task Force to turn the tide against a wave of overdoses and substance abuse in our community.

Alderman Murphy's Office Releases New Report on Heroin in Milwaukee

After much digging into the numbers as to what is actually happening on the ground with heroin addiction and overdose in the City of Milwaukee, Alderman Murphy's office has produced a comprehensive report with some surprising results.  Click the links below to see the report and accompanying press release.

Report & Release

2014 SE Wisconsin Heroin/Opiates Symposium

This symposium engaged participants in a thoughtful, honest dialogue to develop comprehensive, community-based solutions for eliminating heroin and opiate abuse.  This all-day interactive event brought together police, doctors, pharmacists, non-profit service groups, addicts, and government and academic institutions to share their experiences.  As part of the event, attendees were asked to commit to one or more actions to help address the growing heroin/opiate addiction problem in the Milwaukee area.

Synthetic Cannabinoid Poisoning

Public Health Alert: Poisoning Linked to Synthetic Cannabinoid Use

Spice, Joker, Black Mamba,Genie, Kronic, Fake weed.  It's no better It's Danger

Synthetic Cannabinoids, sometimes called "synthetic marijuana" or "fake weed" are unsafe. The product contains various chemicals and you never know what the product contains, so you do not know what your reaction to them will be. Currently there are synthetic cannabinoids being sold in Milwaukee that contain rat poison and have resulted in reports of severe bleeding after use. 


If you have purchased any synthetic cannabinoids in the past month, DO NOT USE THEM!


Do not donate blood or plasma if you have used synthetic cannabinoids.


If you experience any severe, unexplained bleeding or bruising after using synthetic cannabinoids, have someone take you to the hospital immediately or call 911. Do not walk or drive yourself.


The chemical which can cause the bleeding is capable of staying in your system days or weeks so if you have recently used synthetic cannabinoids but are not experiencing symptoms talk to your healthcare provider.


City of Milwaukee Case Count  (as of October 3, 2018)










All of the cases reported to date have required hospitalization. Additional cases are being investigated. Case counts will be updated as information becomes available.


Healthcare Providers: If you suspect a patient is experiencing a serious reaction to synthetic cannabinoids, immediately report to the City of Milwaukee Health Department or local health department of the jurisdiction for the residence of the patient. For the City of Milwaukee, call SurvNet during business hours at 414-286-3624, or after hours at 414-286-2150. In addition, clinicians should contact the Wisconsin Poison Control Center (WI PCC) at 1-800-222-1222 to discuss diagnostic testing and treatment regiments for these patients.

For additional information about synthetic cannabinoids, please visit:

General Information on Synthetic Cannabinoids

What is it?

  • Synthetic cannabinoids are various manmade chemicals that some people may use as an alternative to marijuana.
  • Synthetic cannabinoid products are unsafe. It is hard to know what the products contain or what your reaction to them will be.
  • Synthetic cannabinoids, often referred to as synthetic weed, goes by a variety of different names including: K2, Spice, fake weed, and Black Mamba.
  • These products can be found in convenience stores, gas stations, drug paraphernalia shops, and novelty shops.

Signs/Symptoms of Adverse Reaction

  • Severe bleeding
  • Unexplained bruising
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Agitation/confusion

Synthetic Cannabinoids can cause other health problems:

  • Breathing problems
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Heart attack, fast heart rate, high blood pressure, and stroke
  • Kidney failure
  • Muscle damage

Signs of Excessive Bleeding can include:

  • passing blood in your urine
  • passing blood when in your stool (black or bloody stool)
  • severe bruising
  • prolonged nosebleeds (lasting longer than 10 minutes)
  • bleeding gums
  • vomiting blood or coughing up blood
  • sudden severe back pain
  • difficulty breathing or chest pain
  • severe headache or stomach pain
  • joint pain, discomfort or swelling, especially after an injury
  • in women, heavy or increased bleeding during your periods
  • dizziness or weakness
  • vision changes

The long-term effects of long-term synthetic cannabinoid use are unknown.


Is it legal?

  • Recent federal and state laws targeting synthetic cannabinoids have banned general categories of ingredients, rather than specific chemicals.
  • Makers of synthetic cannabinoids try to get around these laws by creating new products with different ingredients or by labeling them “not for human consumption.”

If you or anyone you know becomes sick after using synthetic cannabinoids, seek immediate medical attention. Call 911 or go to the closest emergency room.


Smoking is an addiction. Over 4,000 chemicals are found in cigarette smoke, many of which are known carcinogens to both humans and other animals. Nicotine, a drug found naturally in tobacco, is highly addictive and makes it very hard for a person to quit smoking once they have begun. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, causing more than 480,000 deaths each year.

What resources are available to help quit smoking?

The following organizations have programs designed to help smokers recognize and cope with problems that come up during quitting and to provide support and encouragement in staying quit.

Electronic Cigarettes: Vaping

Vaping is growing in popularity among Americans, however, it is dangerous. Click here to learn more. 

New Public Smoking Legislation

Effective July 9, 2018, e-cigarette use (also known as vaping or JUULing) is no longer allowed in the City of Milwaukee on city property and in place that prohibit cigarette smoking, including: Restaurants, bars, other business and workplaces (i.e. office building).

Download your window signage here.

No Smoking/ No Fumar sign

Click here for more information on the city of Milwaukee’s ordinance related to E-Cigarettes.

Smoking Complaint Form 

Please complete the form below to submit a complaint of any persons or businesses in violation of electronic smoking device usage in places where smoking is prohibited. 





Overdose Deaths in Milwaukee

Milwaukee County, specifically the City of Milwaukee has been seeing an increase in overdose deaths attributed to heroin and opioid usage. 

The City of Milwaukee Health Department has teamed with the City County Heroin Opioid Cocaine Task Force, the Milwaukee Fire Department, Milwaukee County Substance Abuse and Prevention (MCSAP) coalition, and many others to tackle this issue.

Click here for more information on heroin 

The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), Community Opioid Prevention Effort (COPE) reports on the Milwaukee County opioid crisis, with data from 2012-2018. For the full report, click here.

Substance Abuse Related Complaints

To report any tobacco use in a restricted area, click here 

To report any needles in your community, click here

Opioid Awareness Campaign

Don't let prescription Opiods become the problem

No  permita que los opioides de receta medica se conviertan en el problema

Know the risks in what you are taking

Conosca los riesgos que hay en lo que esta tomando

For more information, visit our Opioids page

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