Addiction is defined as a “continued use of a drug despite the negative
consequences.” One of the leading drugs causing addiction is opioids. Opioids are
highly addictive because they induce euphoria. Chronic exposure to opioids results in
structural and functional changes in the region of the brain that affect impulse,
reward, and motivation. In Milwaukee County, addiction is a detrimental issue.
According to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office, between January 1st
and October 18th, 2020 “…there was an all-time high of 435 confirmed drug overdose
deaths” which surpasses the previous record of 418 drug overdose deaths in 2019. An
increase attributed to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic (Milwaukee NNS, 2020.)
The zip codes most affected include: 53212, 53219, 53207, 53214, and 53206.
Statements made by DHS Secretary Andrea Palm as well Governor Tony Evers have
confirmed the aforementioned statistics. Palm stated, “The problem of use of opioids
and stimulants is an epidemic in Wisconsin.” (CBS58 News, 2021)
In January 2021, Governor Evers stated “Too many Wisconsinites, and their families,
friends, and neighbors, have experienced the tragedies of harmful use of stimulants
and opioids first-hand. It tears apart families, impacts our kids, and has affected
every Wisconsin community one way or another.” Gov. Evers made this statement
during the announcement of a $9 million DHS grant for drug treatment services, with
$1.5 million going to Milwaukee County. (CBS58 News, 2021)
It takes the hard work of organizations, as well as proper government funding, to fight
back against this epidemic that ravages Milwaukee County. Samad’s House is one of
the organizations doing that work.
Samad’s House Corp. is an organization located in zip code 53206 that is working to
fight the opioid crisis in Milwaukee County. The mission of Samad’s House is to
“Create an environment that provides individuals who have a history of substance
abuse with tools necessary to manage sobriety, restore families, and comfortably re-
acclimate into society.”
Samad’s House Corp
2875 North 23rd Street
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53206
Samad’s House takes a holistic approach to treatment for drug addiction. We retrain
and reshape the mind after substance abuse, through structured programming
rebuilding the mind, body, and spirit.
In an effort to raise awareness to this epidemic, Samad’s House Corp. has partnered
with Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin to host the first “Black Balloon Release Day” in
Milwaukee on Saturday, March 6, 2021 @ 2:00 PM at Samad’s House—2875 North 23rd
Street Milwaukee, WI 53206. Attendees will release black balloons in remembrance of
those who lost their lives in Milwaukee County in 2020.
If being in public is something you are uncomfortable with, please consider hanging a
black balloon from your door, mailbox, etc. to show support on March 6th. Event
organizers Tahira Malik and Ashley Higgins can do resource package and balloon drop-
offs on March 3rd in preparation for the event – requests for this drop off can be emailed to one of the organizers.