Attorney General Brad Schimel to speak at "National Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit"

ATLANTA -- Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, recognized nationally for his work on heroin and prescription narcotic painkiller abuse, will be speaking at the National Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit, the nation’s largest gathering of professionals dedicated to heroin and prescription drug abuse, in Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday, March 30th, 2016.

President Barack Obama took part in a panel on Tuesday, March 29th, 2016 to discuss the federal government’s efforts to curb the nation’s epidemic.

“In Wisconsin, we have a long list of stakeholders with varied backgrounds who have partnered with us on our efforts to fight heroin and prescription painkiller abuse,” said Attorney General Schimel. “Everybody from our state’s Medical Society to our state chamber of commerce to our school administrators have had a voice in developing aspects of our prevention campaign, have weighed in on laws like mandatory Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) usage, and have raised awareness among their members. I am proud to share with my colleagues and contemporaries from across the country the importance of building coalitions to fight this epidemic, as we have done in Wisconsin.”

Schimel, along with Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens and Dr. Yngvild Olsen, director-at-large of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, will lead a vision session entitled, “The Importance of Collaboration Between State Leaders and the Medical Community to Reduce Opioid Abuse.”

During the session, Schimel will share his work as Wisconsin attorney general, and previously as Waukesha County district attorney, on trying to end Wisconsin’s heroin and prescription narcotic painkiller abuse epidemic.

During his time as Waukesha County district attorney, while serving in the Waukesha County Metro Drug Unit, Attorney General Schimel saw the growing heroin and prescription opioid abuse crisis early on and worked with county law enforcement and EMS to make sure his county conducted thorough, effective investigations that hold people accountable for delivering drugs that kill. Under his leadership, Waukesha became the second largest source of heroin submissions to the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory and led the state in successful “Len Bias” drug homicide prosecutions.

During General Schimel's prosecutorial career, he also chaired the Waukesha County Drug Abuse Trends Committee, which created the county's successful Drug Treatment Court.

Schimel also served on the state's Good Samaritan Law Task Force, which developed the recommendations that became part of recent legislation that began to address opiate addiction in Wisconsin.

It was during this time, Schimel, working with one of Waukesha County’s largest medical providers, Pro Health Care, helped create a Community Health Needs Assessment that identified the county’s growing opiate addiction.

Additional presentations were given by then-District Attorney Schimel to the Board of Directors of the County Medical Society, Board of Directors for Pro Health Care, Pro Health Care Foundation Board, and Waukesha County EMS. Building these relationships more than five years ago helped establish the trust and partnerships that jump started Schimel’s heroin and prescription narcotic painkiller abuse work as attorney general.

In his first year as Wisconsin Attorney General, Schimel's office launched a statewide prescription painkiller abuse awareness campaign, "Dose of Reality," in collaboration with Wisconsin’s medical community and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Schimel also has directed the Wisconsin Department of Justice to provide statewide training for law enforcement related to heroin-trafficking and worked to more widely deploy the life-saving drug, Naloxone, which reverses the effects of an opiate overdose. The Wisconsin DOJ, under Schimel's direction also organizes and conducts statewide prescription drug “take-back” days every six months. Last year, Wisconsin DOJ collected more than 83,000 pounds of prescription drugs for safe disposal. The next statewide take-back day is April 30th, 2016.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Wisconsin DOJ's "Dose of Reality" campaign.