Archived News: This news release is more than one year old and may include outdated information.

MPD secures $700,000 federal grant in fight against opioid addiction

The MPD has received some very good news regarding our fight against the opioid epidemic. A new $700,000 Smart Policing grant has just been secured from the U.S. Department of Justice, and it will fund a three-year pilot program, “Madison Addiction Recovery Initiative,” or MARI.
Under MARI, MPD officers will be able to offer many users the opportunity for treatment, rather than arrest. If they choose treatment, they will be connected with an intake counselor. This professional will screen and assist them in getting into residential or outpatient treatment programs, as appropriate. Peer support recovery coaches will supply comfort and encouragement to help them engage treatment. Self-referrals will also be possible, meaning individuals can contact the MPD directly – without risk of arrest – and be referred to the program.
To make sure MARI is meeting goals; UW-Madison clinicians and researchers, led by Dr. Aleksandra Zgierska, an assistant professor in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and a board-certified family medicine and addiction medicine physician, will be evaluating the initiative in real-time, providing ongoing action research to improve service delivery and treatment outcomes.. The team will also conduct cost-benefit analyses.
A program coordinator will facilitate building and maintaining linkages between law enforcement, service providers and researchers.
“Through this program we are hoping to provide opiate abusers with the treatment and tools necessary to get their lives back on track,” said MPD Investigative Services Lt. Cory Nelson. “We also have a goal for a significant reduction in property crime being committed by addicts to fund an opiate addiction.  We feel we have partnered with powerful community allies in our fight against opiate addiction and hope that more of our community members feel the need to step forward to help fund treatment space for opiate abusers, which is in very short supply,” added Lt. Nelson. He concluded,  
“We want to thank the Department of Justice and the Smart Policing Grant program for the opportunity to help members of the Madison community escape binds of opiate abuse and to turn their lives around.”
MARI partner agencies also include Public Health Madison-Dane County, Dane County Human Services, Madison Fire Department/EMS, Safe Communities Madison-Dane County, Parent Addiction Network, Wisconsin Attorney General’s Office, Wisconsin Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Wisconsin Public Health Bureau of Community and Health Promotion and WEA Trust.


Local addiction treatment programs committed to partnering with MARI include: Tellurian UCAN, Journey Mental Health, UW Behavioral Health and Recovery, ARC Community Services, NewStart and Connections Counseling.