Minnesota’s Addiction Model Sets Pace for Nation’s Recovery

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Its no secret that substance use is one of the top public health crises facing our nation right now. The most recent finalized data about addiction statistics are from 2017, showing that approximately 70,200 people died of drug overdoses in the U.S. that year. Minnesota is one of the top-ranked states with the lowest rate drug addiction problems, but by all other standards addiction is still very much a crisis.

While things are looking up in Minnesota, our beautiful state is still struggling to provide adequate resources for those who struggle with substance use disorders. In 2017, there were more than 2,000 nonfatal drug overdoses – and 422 fatal ones. That same year, Minnesota doctors issued 3 million opioid prescriptions according to the state Department of Health.

There’s no doubt about it – Minnesota is on the cutting edge of addiction treatment research. There are over 400 health care providers in Minnesota that specialize in addiction medicine, however most of them are located in the Twin-Cities Metro area, out of reach for rural Minnesota. As many as half of Minnesota counties lack adequate providers and services for those struggling with a substance use disorder.

Minnesota is one of the top-ranked states with the lowest rate drug addiction problems, but by all other standards addiction is still very much a crisis.

Just recently, The University of Minnesota Medical School began requiring all third-year medical students to attend a training program on how to effectively use the drug Naloxone on patients experiencing an opioid overdose. While all medical schools teach about addiction to some degree, UMN is the first in the nation to require it of all its medical students. Naloxone counters opioid overdoses by acting as an opioid antagonist and reversing its effects. It has been available for four years now, saving thousands of lives.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services is also training health care providers to get DEA approval to prescribe buprenorphine, a drug shown to reduce heroin and opioid cravings. The efforts are centered around rural Minnesota, where many fewer addiction treatment services are available. Providing access to addiction treatment services is the key to solving the addiction crisis in the United States, and Minnesota is leading the way.

If you or a loved one struggles with an addiction, Drew Horowitz & Associates can help. We provide compassionate addiction recovery services to those who are struggling as well as their families. Don’t wait another day to start a new life in recovery. Contact us today for help.

References:

While opioid epidemic rages, much of Minnesota is a treatment desert

UMN offers new opioid treatment training to medical students

Minnesota Ranks Last In Nation For Drug Use, Study Finds