How Bad is Madison’s Drug Problem?

Drugs stock photo via

Is drug & alcohol abuse a growing problem in our community?

Nov 20, 2012 Update: Local law enforcement has just arrested 20 residents on drug charges.

At a recent event with the Mayor, I raised the issue of drug & alcohol abuse in our community. My point was a little off-topic for the meeting, but it’s something that needs more discussion.

If you talk to anyone in local law enforcement, they will tell you about our drug problem. Almost all of the inmates at our county jail have some connection to substance abuse.

If you talk to the local child protective service, they will tell you about our drug problem. Almost all of the families who require these services also struggle with drug or alcohol issues.

If you talk to our local educators, they will tell you about our drug problem. Almost all of the students who are “dropping out” have some connection to “getting high.”

If you read our local newspaper (which you really should), you will see we have it all. From Meth, DUI, prescription pills, and the latest synthetics.

Of course, there are no easy answers. This was not a problem that begin in one generation and it will take several decades to reverse the trends. At the same time, our community can’t keep quite.

We need more enforcement, more prevention, more education, more rehabilitation, and more public compassion. All of that starts with awareness.

Are we worse than other towns our size? Maybe not, but it seems bad when they bust a meth lab only a few blocks away.

Comments are open below. I would love to hear your feedback on this issue.


  1. j.l. says:

    what about the actual officials for the city, and many others that have some sort of substance abuse. and id like to see proof that most of the high school drop outs are connected to drugs.. what about teenagers and pregnancy, that seems one of the biggest reasons for students dropping out, or the poor education system within itself we have here. is the drug problem bad, yeah prolly so, but i think before some one starts typing for something about this, do a bit more research, i just don’t find the reading here justifiable, and a lil one sided.

    • Tony K. says:

      I completely agree, except tracking dropout reasons is nearly impossible b/c there are no exit interviews. I would say it’s clearly a factor, even if not the exclusive cause.

      Thanks for the feedback, and I would love to be proved wrong.

  2. Jake Stuart says:

    What was the mayor’s view?

    • Tony K. says:

      He talked about dealing with the root causes of abuse and praised the many local services that help people recover from addiction.

      Then he stressed the need for prevention.

      Interesting, the Work One people and the people from the Chamber talked about how “failed drug screens” is something that concerns local employers. Both groups suggested the drug problem was a negative force on the local employment picture.