Overdose Deaths in Minnesota Rose 11% Last Year
St Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Minnesota Department of Health says new data shows drug overdose deaths in the state increased 11-percent last year. A report released Friday shows 572 people died from unintentional and intentional overdoses. That is over four times higher than the death toll from overdoses in 2000.
The data also shows that over half of the drug-related deaths last year were related to prescription medications rather than illegal street drugs. Opioid painkillers topped the list and were involved in 216 of the overdose deaths. The next highest was heroin at 114, and then methamphetamine at 78.
The report shows the increase last year was mainly due to deaths that occurred in the Twin Cities area, with the number of overdose deaths only slightly higher in Greater Minnesota. Officials note the overdosed rates for both Greater Minnesota in the Twin Cities have greatly increased over the past 15 years, rising from less than 3 per 100,000 people to 11.6 deaths per 100,000 residents in the Twin Cities and 9.3 per 100,000 in Greater Minnesota.
Minnesota Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger said the new data show the need for a broader approach to addressing the root causes of drug addiction and overdoses. “With all the attention on this issue over the past several years, it’s disappointing that we have not been more effective in slowing down this epidemic,”