Minnesota to distribute $17M to fight opioid epidemic

ST. PAUL, MN — Starting next week, counties, tribes, and organizations across Minnesota can start applying for a share of $17.7 million dedicated to fighting the state’s opioid epidemic.

According to the Department of Human Services, the federal funding will support treatment, emergency response and workforce development.

The “State Opioid Response Grant” will provide about $8.8 million a year for the next two years and will be used to reach Minnesotans struggling with opioids. State officials hope it will help develop life-saving treatments, reduce deaths from opioid overdose, and prevent opioid use disorder in Minnesota’s most vulnerable communities.

According to the DHS, the new funding will be distributed through grants to Minnesota counties, tribes and community agencies to “build on ongoing work, expand services to new areas, increase the availability of emergency response drugs such as Naloxone and launch new efforts to bring an end to the opioid crisis.”

This is the third federal opioid grant Minnesota has received in the past 16 months, including the two-year, $10.6 million State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis grant and a $6 million, three-year medication-assisted treatment grant.

This new grant will build on these ongoing efforts and offer more resources to more communities, including the American Indian and African American communities.

According to the DHS, about 50,000 Minnesotans received treatment for substance use disorder in 2017, and more than 11,000 hospital admissions were due to heroin and other opioids.

In 2008, there were 10 deaths due to opioids in Minnesota. In 2017, that number increased to 401.

Krystal Frasier

Krystal Frasier

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