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Minnesota SUD Shared Solutions Summit

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Minnesota SUD Shared Solutions Summit

Drug overdose deaths are at a record high, and urgent action is needed. The recent SUD Shared Solutions Summit was a collaborative effort where participants engaged in discussions to improve Minnesota's substance use disorder system.

The summit took place at the Elmer L. Andersen Human Services Building in St. Paul on Jan. 10 and 11, 2023. A virtual option was offered for those who could not attend in person.

The summit included keynote speakers – such as DHS Commissioner Jodi Harpstead, Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan and new Office of Addiction and Recovery Director Jeremy Drucker – and a selection of interactive breakout sessions. Sessions focused on themes such as:

  • A Coordinated, Holistic, Integrated Continuum of Care
  • Prevention and Education
  • Cultural Engagement and Responsiveness
  • Funding and Workforce
  • Law, Policy and the Criminal Justice System

Throughout the summit, participants used a SOAR (Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations & Results) Analysis – a strategic planning tool that can be used to help create and execute a strategy. Some takeaways from the breakout sessions included a need for increased access to housing and transportation, a desire for more streamlined funding, a need for more culturally responsive treatment options, a desire for early prevention curriculum that includes family and youth in decision-making, and a need for simpler pathways for people to become licensed drug and alcohol counselors, among others.

The SUD Shared Solutions Summit Steering Committee will now work to develop an SUD reform action plan based on the input from the summit. The steering committee is aiming to complete the action plan by April 2023.

The SUD Shared Solutions Summit and the work to create a strategic action plan has been a collaborative effort between The Minnesota Association of Resources for Recovery and Chemical Health, Project Turnabout, Niyyah Recovery Initiative, the American Indian Chemical Dependence Advisory Council, Alluma, Minneapolis College, the Association of Minnesota Counties, the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the Minnesota Department of Health and the Governor's Office.

If you have questions about the summit or the work resulting from it, please email

Listening sessions

Organizers held two listening sessions on Oct. 12, 2022, and hosted a survey to help inform the summit’s planning. They asked questions to help identify and better understand opportunities, needs, gaps and bottlenecks in Minnesota’s SUD system, and to determine what participants wanted to see in a statewide summit.

The listening sessions had attendees from every corner of the state, and included county and tribal workers, SUD providers, legislators, non-profit staff and people in recovery, among others. Participants were asked five questions, and entered responses anonymously through an online tool. The morning session had around 350 participants, who collectively offered 1,992 responses to the questions posed by the steering committee. The evening session had around 70 participants, who collectively offered an additional 528 responses. The post-event survey resulted in an additional 58 participants and 558 responses.

All of the responses have been combined into a single document, available here: SUD Shared Solutions Summit Listening Session Responses (PDF).

Feedback from the listening sessions is being analyzed and will help to inform content at the summit. The Minnesota Department of Human Services will also be able to use the feedback as staff work on policies, funding priorities and legislative proposals.

If you have questions about how the listening sessions were conducted, email


  • provides information about risks related to opioids, and resources for finding treatment and naloxone.
  • The Dose of Reality website provides information about prescription painkiller abuse and resources for prevention.
  • MDH’s Drug Overdose Dashboard provides a wealth of data about drug overdoses in Minnesota and the communities hardest hit.
  • The Working Together to End the Opioid Epidemic webpage provides information about DHS’ work with state and community partners to increase awareness, decrease the number of persons who develop opioid use disorder and reduce the harms resulting from opioid addiction.

To receive updates about the SUD Shared Solutions Summit, as well as other important news related to behavioral health, sign up for the Behavioral Health: Families and stakeholders mailing list.

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