The state of Wisconsin is located in the north-central United States, in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions. By area, Wisconsin ranks 23rd and is the 20th more populous state with 72 counties in the state. The state capital is Madison, and the largest city in Wyoming is Milwaukee. Wisconsin is known as "America's Dairy Land" due to the fact that is a leading dairy producer. Manufacturing and tourism also contribute to the states economy. As of 2012, the population of Wisconsin was 5,726,398. Approximately 86% are White, 6% are Black or African American, 6% are Hispanic or Latino, 1% American Indian and Alaska Native, 2% Asian, and about 2% are from two or more races. There was a surge of European settlers to the state during the early 19th century, which is why the six largest ancestry groups in the state are:
German (42.6%), Irish (10.9%), Polish (9.3%), Norwegian (8.5%), English (6.5%), and Italian (6.1%). Wisconsin boasts the highest percentage of residents of Polish ancestry of any state in the U.S.
Known as "America's Dairyland", Wisconsin is the country's top dairy producer made famous for their cheese. In addition to dairy, the state's economy is also fueled by the manufacturing of paper products, information technology and tourism. Drug and alcohol abuse are a serious problem in the state. Wisconsin has one of the highest rates of alcohol use in the United States with close to half (49.6%) of all enrollments into Wisconsin drug rehab programs citing alcoholism as their reason for receiving treatment in 2012. In addition to alcohol addiction, residents struggle with marijuana addiction, illicit drugs and the non-medical use of prescription pain relievers.
Alcohol consumption in Wisconsin exceeds that of most other states. During 2012, the state's consumption was 660 standard drinks per resident age 14 or older. That same year the national average for alcohol consumption across the U.S. was 513 standard drinks. Between 2011 and 2012 28% of youth living in Wisconsin ages 12-20 years old reported current alcohol use. 18% of residents living in Wisconsin between the ages of 12-20 reported binge drinking in the past month. Treatment admissions for Wisconsin drug and alcohol rehab programs show that 14,729 individuals received alcohol addiction rehabilitation services during 2012. While underage drinking continues to be a problem in the state the largest group to enroll in Wisconsin alcohol and drug rehab programs were between the ages of 46-50 years old.
Marijuana use and abuse is found throughout the state. In 2010, an estimated 77% of all drug arrests were connected to marijuana. As a gateway drug, the use of marijuana continues to be a problem in Wisconsin and often leads to addiction on harder substances or poly-substance addiction. Studies conducted in 2013 show that marijuana remains the most frequently used substance by Wisconsin high school students followed by prescription drug abuse, inhalants and cocaine. The largest age group abusing marijuana between 2011 and 2012 were between 18-25 years old. During 2012 close to three thousand individuals enrolled in Wisconsin drug rehab programs as a result of marijuana addiction. This portion of drug rehab enrollments made up just over nine percent of all admissions into Wisconsin drug rehabs during that year.
The prescription drug problem in Wisconsin has continued to cause addiction issues, emergency department visits and overdose deaths. Between 2004 and 2008 the number of emergency department visits due to non-medical use of opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines more than doubled. Today, visits to the E.R. for misused prescription and over-the-counter medications are nearly as common as trips to the emergency room for the abuse of illicit substances. A 2013 survey reported that as many as 15% of Wisconsin high school students have used prescription medications such as OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, Adderall, Ritalin and Xanax non-medically during their lives. In 2012, over two thousand individuals enrolled in Wisconsin drug rehab programs because of prescription drug addiction. This constituted 6.8% of all admissions into Wisconsin drug rehab centers during that year. The ratio of male to female was close, with 55.9% of prescription drug enrollments being male and 44.1% being female.
The wide range of treatment options for residents in Wisconsin include inpatient drug rehab centers, residential addiction treatment programs, outpatient care, sober living facilities as well as support groups. The state has developed a number of cutting edge inpatient programs for residents struggling with alcohol addiction. Many of these programs have been made affordable for low income residents who might have no other way of receiving inpatient care. Additional addiction rehabilitation services have been created over the years for residents including the development of Alcohol Treatment Courts. First initiated in 2009, Alcohol Treatment Courts are a blending of the traditional court setting combined with specialized alcohol rehabilitation methods dedicated to helping the resident resolve their addiction problem. Focusing their efforts on community safety and the rehabilitation of the individual, Alcohol Treatment Courts implement penalties and rewards based on the offender's status in the system.
Wisconsin has a diverse mix of drug rehab centers that range from short-term treatment to long-term care. There are luxury inpatient programs that often feel more like a retreat than a rehab center as well as medically based drug rehabs that are clinical and exacting in their procedures and the medications they use. Determining what type of treatment program and length of care one needs is centered on understanding the individual's addiction history, substance of choice, if they are physically addicted to the substance and if they have been through rehab previously. Residents who have struggled with addiction issues for a substantial length of time will generally require long-term inpatient residential treatment to fully recover and restore their ability to live clean and healthy lives. Attending outpatient alcohol and drug rehab programs is often one's first choice when thinking about getting help with addiction problems. While these types of programs provide a number of addiction rehabilitation services such as counseling and therapy, they are ill-equipped to help a long-time addict make a real and lasting recovery. Outpatient care is often the right choice for residents who have a brief history of substance abuse or who have been through a more intensive program previously and are in need of support and guidance to reestablish or maintain their sobriety.
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