Overall 2022 Overdose Deaths in MN Declined But Fentanyl ODs Rose
St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - Data collected by the Minnesota Department of Health suggests drug overdose deaths in the state may have plateaued last year.
The overall number of overdose deaths dropped slightly from the peak of 1354 in 2021 after rising significantly in each of the previous three years. Overdose deaths blamed on opioids continued to increase last year, rising from 977 in 2021 to just over 1000 in 2022. The report says fentanyl is now blamed for 62% of all drug overdose deaths and 92% of the overdose deaths involving opioids.
“We are responding to the more deadly threat of fentanyl with several new tools for saving lives that were passed by the Legislature in 2023, such as expanding the availability of naloxone, and covering the costs of having it on hand, in school buildings, treatment programs, and during emergency and law enforcement calls,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Brooke Cunningham.
The health department data also shows, that when fentanyl-related deaths are subtracted from the total, the number of deaths involving prescribed opioids, heroin, and methadone fell to a 10-year low of 45 deaths in 2022. That represents a drop of 56% from the previous year.
Overdose deaths caused by psychostimulants like methamphetamine and cocaine increased last year. The health department reported that cocaine-involved deaths saw the largest increase of any drug category, rising 27% from 165 to 210 deaths.
The report includes data on non-fatal drug overdoses. It shows the number of hospital-treated overdoses decreased by 5% last year, falling from just under 17,800 to just below 17,000. Officials note the statistics show that there were nearly 13 non-fatal drug overdoses last year for every one drug overdose death.
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