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Minneapolis commits $420K to fight opioid crisis

Updated: Feb 14, 2023

Jay Kolls KSTP

Updated: February 13, 2023 - 10:21 PM

Published: February 13, 2023 - 8:48 PM

The Minneapolis City Council has approved an additional $420,000 to fight the growing opioid crisis.

The most recent numbers from the Minnesota Department of Health showed between 2019 and 2021, annual opioid overdose deaths more than doubled statewide from 427 to 978.

Minneapolis intends to use the money on opioid prevention and education. The bulk of the grant money will go toward distribution and training with naloxone — also known by the brand name Narcan — a drug that can reverse the effect of an opioid overdose.

Randy Anderson runs the Bold North Recovery program and told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he has been clean for the past 18 years.

Anderson said Minneapolis spending more money on opioid prevention is good news and he would like to see naloxone more readily available to the public.

“I actually hope there’s more Narcan. I had actually talked to the city of Minneapolis Public Health Department about putting naloxone boxes in public buildings. Like, every public building. Wherever there is an AED machine, we should have a naloxone box,” said Anderson.

At the state Capitol, Rep. Dave Baker, R-Willmar, expressed similar sentiments when testifying before his colleagues in a House committee hearing in late January.

“This year, I put up a naloxone box outside my office. So if anybody ever hears of anything up here, somebody’s unconscious, just know there’s a nasal dispensary outside of my office,” Baker said. “We need to have these in all the schools around the state. We need to have these in more government buildings. We need to have them everywhere just like the AED dispensaries that we have around. This needs to be the next thing we do because this medicine is life-saving.”

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