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Blog | Women are more likely to be addicted to painkillers than men

Women more likely to be addicted to painkillers then men

Addiction to prescription painkillers is on the rise — especially for women. A  study of 500 patients in Canada found that 52% of women cited doctor-prescribed painkillers as their first contact with opioids, compared with 38% of men. The women also reported higher rates of heroin use.

Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent uncovered similar findings. The CDC reported that prescription painkiller overdoses killed five times more women in 2010 than in 1999. Nearly 6,600 women died from a painkiller overdose in 2010, or about 18 per day. Every three minutes, a women goes to the emergency department for prescription painkiller misuse.

Of course, prescription painkillers can be an effective way to manage pain. To be safe, there are some things you should do if they’re prescribed to you:

Talk with your doctor before taking prescription painkillers. Let him or her know if there are factors that could increase the chance of you becoming addicted — such as if you or a family member has struggled with addiction, if you have a history of childhood trauma, or have a mental health condition.

Use painkillers exactly as prescribed. Use prescription drugs as only directed by your doctor. Never increase the number of pills you take or the frequency with which you take them without consulting your doctor first.

Lock the medicine cabinet. Keep the prescription painkillers in a secure place where they can’t be accessed those who might abuse them – such as kids and young adults. When you’ve finished our treatment, properly dispose of any leftover medication.

Know the warning signs: The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that people who have a drug abuse issue tend to:

  • Spend a significant amount of time thinking about drugs
  • Try to stop using drugs, and find that they cannot
  • Need drugs in order to feel good or have a good time
  • Use drugs while angry
  • Make mistakes at work or school due to drug use
  • Hoard drugs, in order to avoid running out of them

Seek addiction treatment. If you find that you need to take more of the drug to feel results, “doctor shop” to get additional prescriptions, or are experiencing any of the other warning signs listed above, reach out for professional help from an addiction treatment center. Breaking free of prescription drug addiction takes much more than willpower. Fortunately, counseling and treatment can improve the chances of successfully overcoming your addiction.

Meta House Featured in Milwaukee County DHHS Segment

“Heroin/ Opioid Abuse has a devastating impact. Learn the new approaches to guide recovery in this interview with Matt Drymalski, Ph.D., Psychologist, Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division, featuring Meta House, Inc. an AODA treatment program helping women overcome addiction.”

-Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services

View the video here.

Meta House Primary Care Physician Named a 40 Under 40

A partnership established in 2015 with Milwaukee Center for Independence created the opportunity for Meta House to open an on-site primary care clinic for clients. Not only does the clinic minimize the time women and families spend away from treatment, but it also addresses the wide-reaching community health concern of unnecessary emergency room visits. Spearheading this initiative at Meta House is Dr. Rosalyn McFarland. We’re thrilled to share that she is a recipient of this year’s Milwaukee Business Journal 40 Under 40 award.

More information is available here.

Meta House featured by The University of Pennsylvania Center for High Impact Philanthropy…

Lifting the Burden of Addiction: Q&A with Amy Lindner, President & CEO of Meta House

Client Daughter

Taken from The University of Pennsylvania Center for High Impact Philanthropy Blog

September 24, 2015

Amy Lindner is the President & CEO of Meta House, an organization that provides substance use treatment for low-income women in Milwaukee and a wide range of support services for both the women and their children. We recently featured Meta House’s residential program in our guide, Lifting the Burden of Addiction. Here, Ms. Lindner talks to the Center about what makes Meta House’s programming so effective, and how donors can help.

Center: There are hundreds of treatment programs all over the country. How does Meta House fit into the treatment landscape, and what makes your services helpful for the population you serve?

At Meta House, we provide treatment that is specific to the needs of women with substance use disorders. Research and our 50 years of experience have shown us that women do better in women-only treatment, in part because men can be, at best, an enormous distraction for women trying to heal from both from their substance use disorders and trauma. Also, engaging women in treatment usually requires engaging their families as well. It is common to see programs telling people to focus on themselves in treatment, but this approach doesn’t work for women, who are usually caretakers in their families. Oftentimes, women will only agree to residential treatment if they know that their family will be taken care in the meantime. In addition, women who are mothers are typically more committed to their recovery when the importance of their role as a parent is incorporated into treatment. Meta House was one of the first treatment centers in the country to allow children to stay in treatment with their mothers, and we offer a range of services for our clients’ children. We have found that this approach works to keep women in treatment and focused on their recovery.

Additionally, the vast majority of our clients have suffered physical, emotional, or sexual trauma, and Meta House’s treatment approach and staff are very sensitive to that. For example, if a woman refuses to do a kitchen chore because she was previously assaulted in a kitchen, we will work with her to choose a different chore, instead of chastising her for being lazy or uncooperative. Furthermore, instead of imposing our own goals on a woman in treatment, we get to know her early and help her to identify her own priorities. Instead of shaming a woman for her life choices, which has been a common approach to treatment in other programs, we encourage her by emphasizing her strengths as a person and the progress she makes in treatment. As staff, we are not better than our clients. If anything, we are privileged to be able to help them.

Center: The women who receive treatment at Meta House often face difficult life circumstances, but we’ve heard many success stories as well. Can you provide our readers with one example? 

One of our staff’s favorite success stories is that of a woman who came to Meta House when she was four weeks pregnant. At the time, she was in opiate withdrawal and had recently spent time in a violent women’s shelter. She couldn’t provide adequate care for her eight-year-old daughter, so she sent her daughter to live with a family member. This client ended up staying in our residential program for a year, during which time she gave birth to a healthy baby and quit smoking. She also voluntarily ended an abusive 19-year relationship after realizing that she could be independent. Eventually she got her other daughter back in her care. Today, she continues to follow up with us through outpatient treatment. Her life has completely changed for the better.

Center: What’s the one thing you wish donors knew about this field?

That people can and do change, and that their dollars can change the lives of women, children, and entire families. We have seen women break patterns of addiction and abuse/neglect that extend back for generations before them. We have seen their recovery completely change the lives of their children and their grandchildren for the better. We have seen women who come from the most devastating circumstances recover and become positive forces for change in their community, including many who now work for Meta House to help other women and families make those changes for themselves. It can take time and patience to overcome all of these barriers and make these kinds of changes. But it happens all the time in the work that we do.

Center: What could Meta House accomplish with an increase in philanthropic funding?

Wow, that’s a hard question – there are so many things we could do! Several immediate items come to mind. One would be to increase clients’ length of stay in residential treatment. Right now, our local county’s payments for residential treatment stop after 75 days. We do our best to keep a client for at least three months, but research suggests that staying in treatment for at least six months is often best. After the 75 days are up, to keep a client in residential treatment for as long as possible, we have to get creative with “braiding” other different sources of funding. Federal dollars to programs like Meta House have been shrinking in recent years and county dollars have been outright plummeting. Therefore, additional philanthropic capital would allow us to extend clients’ length of stay closer to the six-month mark, thereby increasing their chances of recovery.

Another change would be expanding our Child & Family Team of therapists and parenting specialists so we can provide more support for Meta House families. We have found that their work is crucial to healing the entire family unit and supporting long-term change for both our clients and their children.

We would also upgrade some of our facilities, such as installing hygienic stainless steel countertops in the residential kitchens, updating key locks with card access, and adding more lights in the parking lot for security purposes. Some of these changes may seem small, but they can make a big difference to our operations and the families we serve.

Read our complete profile on Meta House, or download our full guidance on substance use disorders, Lifting the Burden of Addiction.

View the article in context here.

Meta House VP of Operations Named A Milwaukee Business Journal 2015 CFO of the Year

Taken from The Milwaukee Business Journal (article here).

Milwaukee Business Journal selects 2015 CFO of the Year winners

The names of their companies and organizations may be well-known in southeastern Wisconsin or in some instances, around the world, yet their own names usually are lesser known. These are the 14 winners selected for the Milwaukee Business Journal’s annual CFO of the Year awards.

From large corporations like A.O. Smith Corp. (John Kita) in Milwaukee, to small private firms like TLX Technologies LLC (Katrina Goetz), of Pewaukee, or nonprofits like Next Door Foundation (Laurie Oryall) in Milwaukee, and Meta House (Bill Gollmar), these chief financial officers often maintain low-key profiles within their organizations. And that’s exactly why we launched this program in 2008 — to recognize CFOs who play vital roles in the success of their businesses or organizations as well as make valuable contributions to their profession and communities. Most CFOs work behind the scenes yet are major players in company mergers and acquisitions, working closely with banks and lenders to balance the books, and also wear multiple hats as they oversee human resources, information technology or other company functions.

As in years past, our winners were nominated by colleagues and friends based on their wide range of experience, commitment, character and value to their organizations. Our group of judges pored over dozens of nominations, narrowing the field to the final 14 winners. All winners will be profiled in the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Oct. 9 print edition and will be honored the same day at an awards luncheon in downtown Milwaukee.

Here is a list of the CFO of the Year award winners for 2015:

Publicly Held Companies
▪Lisa Cieslak, GMR Marketing, New Berlin
▪John Kita, A.O. Smith Corp., Milwaukee

Large Private Companies ($250 Million+)
▪Michael Carter, Northwestern Mutual, Milwaukee

Medium Private Companies ($50 Million – $250 Million)

▪Brian Brenegan, Mortara Instrument Inc., Milwaukee
▪Tim Preuninger, Gehl Foods, Germantown

Small Private Companies (Less Than $50 Million)
▪Michael Franz, R&R Insurance Services Inc., Waukesha
▪Katrina Goetz, TLX Technologies LLC, Pewaukee
▪Jason Westhoff, Cousins Subs, Menomonee Falls

Nonprofit Organizations
Bill Gollmar, Meta House Inc., Milwaukee
▪Laurie Oryall, Next Door Foundation, Milwaukee
▪Ken Robertson, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee
▪Mike Wamser, Wisconsin Humane Society, Milwaukee

▪Ryan O’Desky, Herzing University, Menomonee Falls

Professional Services
▪Tammy Hofstede, Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants (WICPA), Waukesha

Aurora Announces Better Together Fund Grant Recipients

News Release Header

Aurora Health Care Announces Final Round of

Grant Recipients of its Better Together Fund

Aurora to provide $3.4 million to community organizations throughout eastern Wisconsin

to support sexual assault and domestic violence prevention and treatment programs

Milwaukee – Aurora Health Care today announced that it is awarding a total of $3.4 million in grants through its Better Together Fund to nearly two dozen community organizations, colleges and universities throughout eastern Wisconsin. The funds will be used to support the development and/or expansion or community-based sexual assault and domestic violence prevention and treatment programs.

“Aurora Health Care is proud to be working hand-in-hand with these dedicated community-based providers throughout eastern Wisconsin to help stem the tide of domestic violence and sexual assault,” said Nick Turkal, MD, CEO of Aurora Health Care. “Aurora has never shied away from difficult conversations and community concerns. While we’ve been championing efforts to put an end to domestic and sexual violence for more than 25 years, we know that there is still much work to be done and that – together – we can make a tangible difference.”

Aurora Health Care has selected 23 entities to share in the $3.4 million in grants from Aurora’s Better Together Fund specifically earmarked to support sexual assault and domestic violence prevention and treatment community-based initiatives. Community organizations from across eastern Wisconsin were invited to submit a proposal for funding consideration earlier this year to the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, which is aiding in the administration of the grants.

Grant recipients include the following:

  • Advocates of Ozaukee County, Ozaukee County, $16,500 to further train crisis counselors, social workers and advocates to better assist the victims of domestic and sexual violence in Ozaukee County;
  • Association for the Prevention of Family Violence, Walworth County, $20,498 to expand domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy services for two at-risk populations that are currently being underserved in Walworth County – teens and elders;
  • Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin, Brown County, $47,367 to add a crisis counselor to the organization and to provide additional counseling services to victims of sexual assault in Brown County;
  • Friends of Abused Families, Washington County, $25,000 to increase the capacity of the Transitional Living Program for victims of perpetrator violence;
  • HELP of Door County, Door County, $28,500 to expand the safe shelter program, allowing more families to stay in a safe shelter for extended periods of time;
  • Hmong American Women’s Association, Milwaukee County, $21,000 to support the Young Leaders Anti-Violence Program in increasing community awareness around gender-based violence;
  • Jewish Family Services, Milwaukee County, $48,325 to provide mental health and trauma-related counseling sessions to adults who are survivors of sexual assault and/or domestic violence;
  • Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin & Upper Michigan, Racine County, $17,200 to help operate and further expand sexual assault programming to help meet the growing needs of those in the county;
  • Marquette University, Milwaukee County, $209,429 to support the Creating a Safe Campus Environment program which works to prevent sexual violence and support survivors;
  • Meta House, Milwaukee County, $31,716 to provide much needed in-depth trauma services and advocacy;
  • Milwaukee LGBT Community Center, Milwaukee County, $20,455 to expand sexual assault and domestic violence advocacy services to the underserved population of LGBT-identified individuals in the Milwaukee area;
  • Near West Side Partners, Milwaukee County, $499,998 to staff the PARC – Promoting Assets and Reducing Crime – Initiative, which will help address sexual assault violence in the Near West Side neighborhood of Milwaukee;
  • Pathfinders, Milwaukee County, $30,000 to increase and improve sexual assault advocacy service delivery and capacity to underserved populations;
  • ​Reach Counseling, Winnebago County, $30,000 to expand support and services to victims of sex-trafficking;
  • Safe Harbor, Sheboygan County, $44,000 to increase capacity to serve victims of domestic and sexual abuse;
  • Sojourner Family Peace Center, Milwaukee County, $1.4 million to help with construction costs for the new facility and to provide a specially-trained sexual assault nurse and counselor on site at the facility for the next five years;
  • ​University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Foundation, Brown County, $127,786 to develop the Relationship and Sexual Violence Program, which will provide education around the topic of sexual violence;
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, $255,000 to create a comprehensive approach to sexual violence on campus – increasing awareness of sexual violence, enhancing prevention and expanding bystander education;
  • University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Kenosha County, $407,750 to develop a collaboration between UW-Parkside, Carthage College, Gateway Technical College-Kenosha Campus, and Women and Children’s Horizons, Inc., which will then create and provide a consistent, cohesive approach to sexual violence awareness and victim services;
  • ​Walworth County Alliance for Children, Walworth County, $34,000 to expand the Walworth County multi-jurisdictional sexual response unit;
  • ​Women and Children’s Horizons, Kenosha County, $15,476 to support programs designed to assist victims of domestic and/or sexual violence in the county;
  • Women’s Center – Waukesha County, $45,000 to support collaborative efforts with The Child Advocacy Center of Waukesha County and to help increase staff counseling capacity; and
  • Women’s Resource Center of Racine, Racine County, $25,000 to support the expansion of emergency shelter services in the community.

The $3.4 million in grants to support sexual assault and domestic violence prevention and treatment programs are the final awards through Aurora Health Care’s Better Together Fund. In total, Aurora Health Care has provided $10 million in grants to help expand access to health care through community-based providers. In April, Aurora announced a total of $6.6 million in grants to nearly two dozen federally qualified health centers and free clinics to improve access to primary care and behavioral health services.

For more information on the Better Together Fund, visit


About Aurora Health Care:

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin-area health care provider and a national leader in efforts to improve health care quality. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Aurora is Wisconsin’s most comprehensive health care provider and the state’s largest private employer. Aurora serves more than 1.2 million patients every year via a comprehensive network of facilities, services and providers, including 15 hospitals, 159 clinics, 70 pharmacies and 30,000 amazing Caregivers. As evidenced by more than 400 active clinical trials, Aurora is dedicated to delivering innovations to provide the best possible care today, and to define the best care for tomorrow. Get helpful health and wellness information via the Aurora MyHealth blog, our Facebook page, our Twitter account and our Pinterest account.

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RELEASE Better Together Fund Sexual Assault Domestic Violence Grant Announcement FINAL 7 31 2015


Diversified Insurance Solutions Awards Meta House SPARK Grant

Diversified Insurance Solutions is awarding area nonprofits grants to help SPARK change in our community. Here was their award notice for June 2015:

Our June SPARK Grant was awarded to Meta House to fund an entire year of Family Nights, Saturday Outings and Recovery Month activities. Meta House provides substance abuse treatment for women and introduces them to sober living. Last year, the organization served 534 women and 245 children.

As part of its program, Meta House hosts an array of sober activities so the women can learn to enjoy life in recovery with their children. The events help establish healthy social habits, solidify family bonds and replace using-thoughts with non-using thoughts.

Meta House on The Morning Blend to talk Shorewood House

Posted May 4, 2015

From Today’s TMJ 4 | The Morning Blend:

A New Facility to Treat Addiction

For 50+ years, Meta House has ended the generational cycle of addiction by healing women and strengthening families. The stories are different, but the message is the same – recovery is possible. Shorewood House is a division of Meta House that will provide women and their families with the same effective treatment philosophies currently available at Meta House’s main Riverwest campus. Clients at Shorewood House will receive holistic services including individual counseling, group therapy, trauma counseling, art therapy, behavioral therapy and other experiential therapies. It will be priced at roughly half the cost of many existing residential treatment programs. We are joined by Amy Lindner from Meta House to discuss all the great work being done and what can be expected at Shorewood House.

For more information, visit or or call (414) 977-5890.

Watch the interview here!


Meta House Announces New Drug & Alcohol Treatment Program in Shorewood

Meta House announces new drug and alcohol treatment program

Shorewood facility will be a residential treatment program for women

May 1, 2015

A new drug and alcohol residential treatment facility for women will open in Shorewood, Wis., on June 22, Meta House announced today. Shorewood House will be a division of Meta House, a women’s treatment organization in Milwaukee since 1963.

“We know that drug and alcohol addiction affects women from every walk of life,” said Amy Lindner, president and CEO of Meta House. “But many women fall through the cracks when attempting to get treatment. Most private health insurance plans don’t cover residential treatment, which can cost upwards of $30,000 per month. And a woman with private insurance may not have access to the free programs offered to low-income clients. Shorewood House will fill that gap with a clinically-sound, comfortable residential treatment setting at a mid-range price point.”

Shorewood House will provide women and their families with the same effective treatment philosophies currently available at Meta House’s main Riverwest campus. Clients at Shorewood House will receive holistic services including individual counseling, group therapy, trauma counseling, art therapy, behavioral therapy and other experiential therapies. It will be priced at roughly half the cost of many existing residential treatment programs.

Drug abuse on the rise in Wisconsin

The need for more treatment options has never been greater. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, in 2014, the rate of binge drinking among Wisconsin women of childbearing age was the highest in the nation. The same study found that Wisconsin’s rate of drug-related deaths nearly doubled from 2004 to 2012, with opiate-related overdoses the most frequent cause. Based on the most recent data available from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH, 2014), an estimated 18,657 women in Milwaukee alone are struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.

Increasing treatment options, new revenue stream

Shorewood House will increase access to treatment for many women and families while it also creates a financially sustainable revenue stream for the organization, thus improving availability of all Meta House programs.

“It’s no secret that organizations like us have seen government funding decline sharply,” says Lindner. “While this support is still critical, we knew that along with our generous donors, we needed a new way to support the vulnerable women and children we already serve. Shorewood House fulfills two incredibly important goals — extending treatment to more women who need it, and helping ensure Meta House’s continued care for all the clients we serve.”

About Meta House

Meta House has been a leader in drug and alcohol treatment for women for more than fifty years. It was one of the first programs in the country to offer treatment designed only for women, and its success rates far exceed averages for other residential drug and alcohol treatment programs. Recent data shows that 86 percent of mothers who participated in residential treatment at Meta House were maintaining their abstinence from alcohol and illegal drugs six months after admission.

While alcohol and other drug use treatment is the cornerstone of its program, Meta House also offers trauma counseling, parenting, vocational and educational services to clients and a host of services to the children of Meta House clients. The agency offers residential, outpatient and transitional housing services. For more information, visit or call 414-962-1200. For more information on Shorewood House,, call 414-977-5890 or