Opioid Overdose Prevention Initiative

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pill bottles and syringe

Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, and many others.The misuse of and addiction to opioids is a serious national crisis.  

Opioid epidemic in Minnesota

  • More than 5,400 Minnesotans have died of opioid overdoses since 2000.
  • COVID 19 pandemic has caused a surge in both fatal and nonfatal overdose deaths.
  • In 2021, overdose mortality became the leading cause of injury death in Minnesota, overtaking fall mortality.
  • Drug overdose deaths increased 22% from 2020 to 2021, driven by synthetic opioids (i.e., fentanyl) and stimulants (i.e., cocaine and methamphetamine).
  • Statewide overdose mortality rate masks significant racial disparities, which are growing worse.
  • Opioid dashboard - Minnesota Department of Health

Lawsuit settlement

Minnesota was recently part of $26 billion multi-state winning lawsuit against multiple opioid pharmaceutical companies and an opioid manufacturer. It has been determined that this settlement money will be divided between states, counties and cities over the next several years. An expert panel, selected by the Attorney General’s Office, created categories of the best and most effective ways to use the settlement money. The categories include how to help people affected by opioids get the help/resources they need or provide education to help reduce opioid addictions in the future. It is our goal to reduce opioid-related deaths and overdoses among our residents.

Feedback wanted

The Minnesota's Attorney General's Office was recently part of the National Opioid Settlement, a successful $26 billion multi-state lawsuit against opioid pharmaceutical companies and an opioid manufacturer. 

Saint Paul - Ramsey County Public Health is seeking community input about to how to use the settlement money to help people affected by opioids get resources they need and provide education to reduce addictions/overdoses in the future. 

Ramsey County residents and community partners providing services in the county are invited to provide feedback and help determine how resources could be used over time​. All surveys completed by June 30, 2022, will be eligible to receive a one-time $25 gift card. Gift cards are available first come, first serve; limited quantities are available​.

The survey will close on July 31, 2022

Take the survey

Community update: Opioid overdose prevention

On May 26, Saint Paul - Ramsey County Public Health held a session for community members to learn about opportunities the county will have related to the opioid misuse prevention resources from the attorney general’s lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies.

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