Local leaders will join Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson, Public Safety Commissioner Ramona Dohman and Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger on a panel to discuss the first statewide plan to tackle substance abuse.
The strategy was released in September and is a collaboration of the Department of Human Services and several state agencies. It is designed to save lives and dollars by making prevention and treatment efforts more effective and efficient. The impact of alcohol use alone costs the state an estimated $5 billion a year.
The strategy calls for coordination by state and local partners to address an increase in heroin and prescription opiate abuse in the short-term, as well as makes long-term recommendations that balance prevention, intervention, treatment, recovery support services, public safety and research to decrease all substance abuse and addiction.
The meeting is open to the public. There will be an opportunity for audience members to provide input. Meetings were held in Duluth, Bemidji and Rochester in November.