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Milwaukee Drug Rapid-Testing & Outreach Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,598,719)

Milwaukee County is the most populated county in Wisconsin with an estimated population of 946,687 people in 2020, about 16% of the state’s total population. Milwaukee is also the most diverse county in Wisconsin accounting for 62% of the state’s total black population. It has the greatest overdose burden in the state, leading in both count and rates. For the first time in 2021, the rate of fatal overdoses was higher among the black population in Milwaukee County than white and Hispanic counterparts.

The black population in Milwaukee experienced a 51.7% increase in fatal overdose rates from 2020 to 2021, compared to only a 4.8% rate increase among the white population. The substances involved in fatal overdoses saw distinct shifts, with a 42% increase in the number of cocaine and fentanyl related overdoses from 2020-2021, which was disproportionately experienced by the black population. Milwaukee partners have been limited in identifying the cause of these recent changes.

Milwaukee Drug Rapid-Testing and Outreach Program (DROP) aims to directly address this gap through increasing the capacity for substance testing at overdose scenes and within people actively using drugs in the community, developing an ODMAP platform where these results can be shared with partners in near-real-time, and working across sectors to inform outreach content and services accordingly.

The city of Milwaukee and collaborating partners are seeking $1,600,000 in Subcategory 1a funding to support Milwaukee DROP. Additionally, Milwaukee DROP is seeking priority consideration in OJP Priority Area 1A located on page 4 of the proposal narrative.


The Milwaukee DROP aims to utilize 100% of the budget to:

Collect and Coordinate Near-Real-Time Data in order to

Increase capacity for near-real-time substance testing at overdose scenes.
Initiate the first real-time drug checking program in the state through partnerships with harm reduction and substance use support service organizations.
Develop a near-real-time substance testing mapping application through ODMAP.

Communicate Near-Real-Time Data to Public Health, Public Safety, and Community-Based Harm Reduction Partners in order to

Increase understanding of changing and emerging polysubstance use trends.
Inform education, outreach, and harm reduction efforts based on real-time substance trends.
Continue to strengthen existing public health and public safety partnerships, including the Milwaukee Overdose Public Health and Safety Team (OD-PHAST) and Milwaukee City-County Heroin, Opioid and Cocaine Task Force (CCHOCTF).

Use data to inform policies that result in overdose prevention.
Evaluate Program Impact.

Date Created: September 29, 2022