The Marathon County Health Department, in partnership with the Marathon County AOD
Partnership and UW-River Falls Survey Research Center, will conduct their fifth community
assessment specific to medication abuse through September.

The paper survey was mailed to a sample of residents throughout Marathon County the week of Aug. 19, with increased emphasis in the Wausau Metro area, including 54401, 54403, 54474, and 54476 zip codes. The survey requests an adult household member complete the survey and return it in the provided envelope by Sept. 16.

The purpose of this survey is to learn more about medication abuse in Marathon County, including the greater Metro area, specifically measuring the frequency of medication abuse, perception of harm and availability, and to evaluate local medication diversion or disposal efforts, according to the health groups. The survey also asks demographic questions, concerns over health issues, and other basic data that can be compared to other local community assessments.

“Many communities are being negatively impacted by medication abuse,” said Melissa Moore, prevention specialist at the Marathon County Health Department. “It is hard to dispute the strong link between the use of prescription medications and other illicit drug use, especially when we consider dangerous drugs such as heroin and methamphetamines.”

The information collected through the survey will inform the Health Department, AOD Partnership and community partners as to the extent of the problem and direct future prevention, treatment and enforcement activities in Marathon County. Over the past nine years, this data has helped support the expansion of the medication drop box program, messaging for prevention and proper disposal, and informed educational opportunities.

“Medication abuse impacts all of us,” Moore said. “We can’t address the problem if we don’t fully understand it. We need the community’s help by completing this survey to do that.”

Upon completion, the results of the survey will then be compared to the 2011, 2013, 2015 and
2017 assessment data and compiled into a “10-year snapshot report” to be released in late
December or early 2020. The previous summary report is available online at