Senator Tammy Baldwin addresses opioid epidemic in Appleton

Senator Tammy Baldwin believes part of taking care of your community includes having resources for those dealing with substance use disorder.
Published: Aug. 1, 2023 at 7:01 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - Senator Tammy Baldwin is talking about how she believes part of taking care of your community includes having resources for those dealing with substance use disorder.

On Tuesday, she met with local resources in Appleton to discuss more preventative and post-preventive measures that can be taken.

“No one’s immune from this. No community is immune from it,” said Bill Wetzel.

The Acoca Coffee shop owner knows firsthand how a life can be taken in an instant.

“We have a teammate who lost a nephew in a one pill kind of contamination,” said Wetzel.

“Often times now we’re seeing accidental overdose with fentanyl, somebody who does not believe that they’re taking something that is laced with fentanyl and it is,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin, (D) Wisconsin.

As the opioid epidemic continues to leave a wake of destruction, Acoca wants to be part of the solution. The coffee shop has installed an overdose aid kit, or O.A.K. box, containing the overdose reversal drug Narcan.

“And to try and hold a community together, we have to look out for one another and it’s preventive efforts and post-preventive efforts where something like the O.A.K. box can be supportive and helpful,” said Wetzel.

“It makes absolute sense that the community that cares about their customers, who cares about the challenges that they face, would have such resources available here,” said Senator Baldwin.

Senator Baldwin attended a roundtable event at the Acoca to discuss the O.A.K. box and hear from local partners active in efforts to prevent tragedies.

“Today it was a really helpful discussion about how this region and this community is standing up to try to reduce the harm, whether that’s through prevention activities or making sure that overdose medications are readily available and that the community is knowledgeable about these resources,” said Senator Baldwin.

Baldwin believes it’s important for everyone to have access to Narcan, even if they don’t think anyone in their lives is involved with drugs.

“I think back to so many of the conversations I’ve had with moms who’ve lost their children to overdose deaths, and the answer they would give you is you should have Narcan available because you never know. You never know,” said Senator Baldwin.