Minnesota Sets Grim Record For Drug Overdose Deaths
St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The number of drug overdose deaths in Minnesota rose to a record high last year.
The State Health Department says there were 1286 overdose deaths reported in Minnesota in 2021. That is up 22 percent when compared to 2020 and averages out to more than three people succumbing to drug overdoses each day. According to the statistics, it also marked the first time in eight years that Greater Minnesota saw a larger percentage increase in overdose deaths than the Twin Cities area.
“This increase in drug overdose deaths is alarming, but there are things we can do about it,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm. “One important step is to expand programs that make it easier for people to access naloxone – a medication that can reverse overdoses and save lives.”
The health department says overdose deaths involving opioids increased 35 percent last year. Officials noted that fentanyl was involved in 90 percent of the 994 opioid overdose deaths.
There were 454 overdose deaths blamed on methamphetamine, which was up 34 percent from 2020. The report also shows an 81 percent increase in overdose deaths involving cocaine, but the total number of deaths was significantly smaller when compared to methamphetamine and opioids at 154.