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

The paper survey will be mailed to 2,500 residents throughout Marathon County beginning the week of Sept. 6, with increased emphasis in the Wausau Metro area (including 54401, 54403, 54474 and 54476 zip codes). It is requested that an adult household member complete the survey and return it in the provided envelope by Sept. 30.

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. 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 10 years, this data has helped support the expansion of the medication drop box program, messaging for prevention and
proper disposal and informed educational opportunities.

Upon completion, the results of the survey will be compared to the 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019 assessment data and compiled into a “snapshot report” to be released in early 2022.

The previous summary reports are available online at