With a focus on opioid and prescription drug abuse, the Hudson Hospital Foundation is partnering with the Hudson Police Department on funding outreach efforts.
The partnership is an important part of facing the issue of drug abuse, Chief Marty Jensen said.
"I'm happy to partner with them on this especially because they see the overdoses, we see the overdoses. We're working in the same area," Jensen said.
Opioid and other prescription drug abuse is something that Hudson has continued to see, like the rest of Wisconsin and the nation.
"It's not going away by any stretch of the imagination. We've had several overdoses with prescription drugs and opioids recently," Jensen said.
Funding from the hospital's annual fundraiser this November will support two facets of the police department's efforts — education at the schools and outreach in the community.
In terms of education, the department runs the the CounterAct program that it implements for fifth-graders, and funding will allow it to update material.
"That's always a boost to make sure we have up to date materials," Jensen said.
The outreach portion of the department's efforts includes the drug take back. This year, the department had additional location for take back at the Hudson Hospital, thanks to a new law that allows pharmacies to to be a take back site. Take back events were held Oct. 27 and 28.
The collections are designed to get old prescription medications out of cabinets, and potentially away from the wrong hands.
"Kids are going to get their hands on it," Jensen said.
A new addition the department is looking to implement is a mock teen bedroom.
The display will show parents and guardians common places that teenagers may use to hide drugs and other items.
"What we want to show parents are some of the things that might be out in the open that you're looking at and not really seeing what's going on," Jensen said.
The bedroom is mobile, and can be used at community events or school meetings.
"We hope to work in conjunction with the schools," Jensen said.
Barron County Sheriff's Department and New Richmond Police Department already have the mock teen bedroom in place.
"It's been highly successful," Jensen said. "Parents have said that they've learned a lot." All of these efforts are designed to give the community the information it needs to understand what's going on with the opioid and other drug abuse issue.
"The more that we can give parents and other people info on what they can see and help prevent, the better it's going to be," Jensen said.