A candidate for Wisconsin attorney general on Monday rolled out a plan aimed at combating the state’s burgeoning heroin epidemic. Republican Brad Schimel says “it’s frightening” – heroin or prescription opiate overdose is now the number one category of accidental death in Wisconsin.
“Imagine if we saw traffic deaths increase the way we’ve seen these overdose deaths increase,” Schimel said at a press conference at the Capitol in Madison. “We’ve seen overdose deaths almost quadruple in the last ten years or so. If you saw that happen with traffic crashes, we’d put a roundabout every 200 feet.”
The Waukesha County District Attorney is proposing a plan he calls “STOP” which stands for Support Teaching Opiates Prevention. Schimel is the sole Republican candidate in the race to succeed J.B. Van Hollen. A Democratic primary election takes place in August, between state Representative Jon Richards of Milwaukee, Dane County DA Ismael Ozanne and Jefferson County DA Susan Happ. Happ and Richards also released statements calling for further action on heroin.
Schimel was joined in Madison by law enforcement and state Representative John Nygren, the Marinette Republican who was instrumental in passage of a bipartisan package of heroin related bills.
“This is only going to get worse,” said Schimel. “This is no time for our attorney general to learn while they earn.”